Solar company iSun announced it reached an agreement to make a minority interest equity investment in Encore Renewable Energy, a Vermont-based clean energy developer with a history of reclaiming real estate landfills, brownfields, rooftops and carports for community-scale solar PV and large-scale energy storage systems.
The deal provides the two companies opportunities in collaboration across their project pipelines, and accelerates expansion of iSun’s commercial, industrial and utility businesses into new geographic markets, while advancing the company’s involvement with clean energy solutions including solar + storage, brownfield redevelopment and dual land-use/agrivoltaic initiatives. iSun said the investment was made to support organic regional growth through expanding relationships with existing industrial and utility customers.
One innovation that has gained Encore Renewables attention is its work with London-based Highview Power to develop the United States’ first long-duration, liquid-air energy storage system in northern Vermont.
Set to be sized at around 50 MW, with more than eight hours of storage delivering an excess of 400 MWh, the project uses off-peak or excess electricity to chill and liquefy air at -320°F, storing the liquid air in insulated low-pressure tanks. When it’s time for use, the system exposes the liquid air to ambient temperatures to rapidly return it to gas, expanding to 700 times its liquid volume, thereby powering turbines to generate electricity. According to Highview, the system can be configured to also make use of waste heat.
In September, iSun acquired SunCommon in a combination of cash and shares of common stock. The deal is expected to double the company’s projected revenue for 2021.
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