Morning Brief: Longroad acquires 160 MW of First Solar projects, Glidepath Ventures sells 887.5 MW PV portfolio

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Longroad acquired 160 MW of First Solar projects: The Little Bear Solar portfolio of projects is changing hands, as First Solar reports that the four projects have been acquired by Longroad Energy. The portfolio, located entirely in Fresno County, California, boasts a combined capacity of 160 MWac, with each of the four projects ranging from 20 MWac to 50 MWac and expected to be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of 2020. Each project will utilize First Solar’s Series 6 modules. This is the first major project news from Longroad since last spring, when the company closed on financing and began construction on its 379 MW Prospero Solar project in Andrews County, Texas. Source: First Solar

Glidepath Ventures announced the sale of an 887.5 MW portfolio of early-stage utility-scale solar projects in PJM territory to a clean energy-focused development and investment firm. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The projects are expected to achieve commercial operations in 2022. This transaction follows Glidepath’s recent announcement of a 278 MWdc investment by Grasshopper Solar, bringing its total portfolio in Pennsylvania to more than 1 GWdc. Glidepath has a portfolio of more than 2.0 GW of solar projects in various stages of development. Source: Glidepath Ventures

Iowa finds compromise on net metering: After nearly a year of debate and disagreement, MidAmerican and Iowa’s outspoken solar advocates have reached an agreement on net metering policy, sending their proposal to be debated before the state’s House of Representatives this week. This bill is one that has been a long time coming, as the amendments made to net metering have existed since 2017. If passed, the bill would require a “value of solar” study be conducted by an outside party, though that study would not be any time soon, as the study could get started when solar penetration reaches 5%. It’s now at about 1%. Source: Energy News Network

Virginia has its first gold certified pollinator project: The Virginia Pollinator-Smart Program, an initiative led by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation that judges solar projects under a strict set of guidelines for pollinator-friendliness has handed out its first Gold Certification, the highest possible. The project in question belongs to Cople Elementary School, and was developed by Westmoreland County Public Schools. The 788 kW installation received high marks for fostering vegetative growth below the panels, as well as being used as an educational resource. Source: Sun Tribe

DOE to hold a series of workshops for the Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC) initiative, a program designed to accelerate the development, commercialization, and utilization of next-generation energy storage technologies. The Advanced Manufacturing Office will host a manufacturing workshop on March 16 that will addresses the challenges and the opportunities for U.S. manufacturing of a broad approach to energy storage opportunities (thermal, electrochemical, industrial processes, devices, and systems) with the aim of informing the DOE on the latest trends, the R&D needs, and the role DOE can play in developing solutions. More information here, registration info here.