Morning Brief: Environmental approval for the country’s largest project, Roadrunner hits construction milestone

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Gemini project gets additional “final” environmental approval: The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management has released a favorable final environmental impact statement on the Gemini Solar project. This means that the Las Vegas mega-project, potentially the largest in the world, with the largest 4-hour battery known to pv magazine, is all but cleared for construction. All that’s left before construction can begin is a confirmation, following a 60-day review period, from the Bureau of Land Management’s record of decision. This means the project could start construction in early 2020. Source: S&P Global

Enel completes first phase of Roadrunner: The massive, 497 MW Roadrunner solar project is one step closer to being completed. The project, which will be the largest in Texas once completed, has had its initial 252 MW portion completed. The second phase is expected to be completed later this year. The project currently has 135 MW contracted through power purchase agreements: 65 MW with Mondelēz International and 70 MW with The Clorox Company. Source: Solar Industry Mag

RWE brings West of the Pecos solar project on-line: RWE announced it has achieved commercial operation on its West of the Pecos solar project, located in Reeves County, Texas, approximately 75 miles southwest of Midland-Odessa. West of the Pecos is a 100 MWac solar plant located on more than 700 acres leased from Texas Pacific Land Trust and Texas General Land Office within the county… The project utilizes nearly 350,000 solar modules on a surface of 550 football pitches. It marks RWE’s first solar project in the state and is the latest expansion of a growing U.S. footprint.” Source: RWE

SolarEdge adds features to online design tool: With a focus on commercial projects, SolarEdge has introduced new elements to its online installation design tool. The site has expanded its list of commercial load profiles, which now includes typical energy consumption patterns for factories, retail stores, and office buildings. The program now provides an auto-string layout feature which automatically follows SolarEdge’s flexible design rules. This includes a new duplication figure. Other quality-of-life changes were made, including the additions of multi-selection of objects, copy/pasting, and improved edge alignment. Source: SolarEdge

Sunnova acquires safe harbor funds: Sunnova Energy International has closed an aggregate $150 million in financing through an approximately $95 million revolving asset-based loan facility and a private placement of $55 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes. Access to this capital will allow Sunnova to fund its continued growth in customer count and battery storage sales, as well as fund the purchase of inventory that Sunnova intends to use to allow related solar energy systems to qualify for a 30 percent Federal investment tax credit by satisfying the 5% safe harbor method outlined in IRS notice 2018-59.” Source: Sunnova