Canadian Solar Inc. announced its wholly owned subsidiary, Recurrent Energy, LLC completed a purchase and sale agreement with Appalachian Power for Recurrent’s Firefly Energy solar project located in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Firefly Energy is expected to be operational in the 2nd quarter of 2024.
Firefly Energy has a capacity of 150 MWac, Appalachian Power’s largest solar energy acquisition to date. Once completed Firefly Energy will help the utility meet its clean energy requirements under the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA).
Passed in 2020 by the Virginia General Assembly, the VCEA seeks to end carbon dioxide emissions from the utility industry in Virginia. The Act establishes renewable portfolio standards for Applachian Power calling for the utiity to be 100% carbon free by 2050. SEIA estimates that in 2020 Virginians were receiving 3.25% of energy needs from solar and the state was ranked 9th in the nation for solar installations, with nearly 6000 MW forecast over the next five years. The Act establishes that 16,100 MW of solar and onshore wind is “in the public interest.” The law also expands net metering and requires Virginia’s largest energy companies to construce or acquire more than 3,100 Mw of energy storage capacity. Appalachian Power intends to meet its VCEA targets primarily through future investments in solar, wind, energy storage, and energy efficiency measures.
The Firefly Energy solar project will be developed and constructed by Recurrent under a Build Transfer Agreement (BTA). Once construction is completed, Appalachian Power, which has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power, will be the long-term owner of the project. Pending local and state permits and other regulatory approvals, construction of the project is expected to start in early 2023 and reach commercial operation in 2024.
“This will be our largest solar project yet in our journey to deliver clean, reliable power to our customers,” said Chris Beam, Appalachian Power president and chief operating officer.
Recurrent received approval on its Siting Agreement for the Firefly project last month from the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors. The agreement provides $2.25 million in upfront payments to Pittsylvania County in addition to long-term revenue for public services over the life of the project.
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