New Jersey-headquartered CS Energy announced a growth milestone of 150 MW of solar tracker projects across several projects in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Connecticut. The six most recent projects averaged 25 MW in size.
Roughly 70% of new utility-scale solar projects in the US come with trackers, but large-scale projects with single-axis trackers are relatively less common in the northeastern US. Site complexity and cold weather conditions pose development challenges, said CS Energy.
The company said its in-house engineering and construction teams have expertise in overcoming obstacles like the handling of large snow loads, onsite grading and grounding challenges, and the associated approval processes required for tracker projects in the region. The experience held by the team led to reduced challenges in project tolerances and has streamlined installation times. This helps reduce costs and de-risk projects in the long term, said CS Energy.
Four of the six projects are in New York, a state with goals of 70% renewables by 2030 and 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. One project will be participating in Maryland’s Community Solar Pilot Program, which aims to bring more affordable energy rates to local communities.
CS Energy has designed and installed over 1.5 GW of solar projects across the US, and is owned by American Securities, a private equity firm. The company has a 4 GW pipeline of large-scale solar tracker projects and anticipates further tracker project growth in the Northeast. “We’re looking forward to designing and building additional large-scale tracker projects in the region in the years to come in order to provide maximum environmental benefits and reduced electricity costs for local utilities, municipalities, and the communities they serve,” said Michael Garofalo, vice president of operations at CS Energy.
Last April, the firm partnered with Goldman Sachs and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to deliver eight solar projects totaling 216 MW. All projects had a planned commercial operation date of Q4 2021. Construction generated 500 jobs, and the $160 million in project investment was projected to bring more than $80 million in tax benefits. Contracts for the projects were awarded by NYSERDA as part of its Renewable Energy Standard Request for Proposals in 2017 and 2018.
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