Longroad Energy receives notice to proceed to begin construction of 152 MW Three Corners Solar

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Longroad Energy, a Boston-based renewable energy project developer, has received financing and notice to proceed of the Three Corners Solar project, a 152 MW (DC) facility in Kennebec County, Maine, which upon completion by early 2024, is said to be the largest solar facility in the state.

Total output for the $200 million utility-scale project will be purchased by EDF Energy Services under a long-term power purchase agreement for EDF’s corporate customer load in New England. Additional power capacity will be provided to the ISO-New England power system.

Located near Clinton, Maine, the Three Corners Solar facility has been in development for the past five years.

“We are glad to reach this important milestone and grateful for the support of the towns of Benton and Clinton, Kennebec County, and the residents of the area,” said Matt Kearns, chief development officer of Longroad Energy. “$200 million projects do not come along every day in Maine. This project will be an important resource for Maine to help meet its clean energy objectives and will deliver significant economic benefits to Kennebec County and the region.”

The 690-acre project will use Series 6 and 6+ modules supplied by First Solar, single-axis trackers from Nextracker and inverters from Power Electronics. The facility will interconnected to the Central Maine Power system via a 5.2-mile generator lead line to the Albion Road substation.

During construction, Three Corners Solar will support 150 construction jobs and generate $60 million of direct purchase assets.

The facility has projected $8 million in property tax revenue for host communities and the State of Maine.

Maine Economic & Community Impact:

  • $100,000 ($5,000 per year) to local scholarship programs and charitable organizations during the 20-year operating term of the project.
  • $100,000 to Unity College to fund internships and research opportunities for faculty and students in renewable energy.
  • $25,000 to Sebasticook Regional Land Trust to support conservation efforts.
  • The project has conserved ~1,875 acres of predominately forested lands, protecting high value wetlands, deer wintering areas, inland waterfowl wading bird habitat, and critical terrestrial habitat.

Environmental Impact:

  • The project will generate ~200 GW hours of electricity per year, or approximately 140,000 metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions equivalent per year. The avoided CO2 emission is equivalent to taking ~30,000 cars off the road for the 20-year PPA term.
  • The project conserves ~1,875 acres of land in the region, including 1,020 acres in the Unity Wetlands Focus Area, 324 acres in Readfield, Maine and 531 acres in Shirley, Maine. Conservation agreements will protect high value wetlands, deer wintering areas, inland waterfowl wading bird habitat, and critical terrestrial habitat.
  • The majority of the project is sited on property that has been used for commercial timber production, a practice that will continue nearby.

EPC contractors for the project include E.S. Boulos, Reed & Reed and Comprehensive Land Technologies.

KeyBank and U.S. Bank have committed to the $200 million project debt and tax equity financing package.

Formed in 2016, Longroad Energy is backed by the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, Infratil and MEAG Munich Ergo Asset Management. The company owns and operates 457 MW of wind farms and 1.12 GW of solar projects and its current project development pipeline includes 1.57 GW of wind and 1.43 GW of solar projects in 14 states.

In Maine, Longroad has about 252 MW of solar projects in various stages of development. On October 26, the company’s King Pine 1 GW wind project was approved by the Maine Public Utilities Commission as a winning bid to enter the Northern Maine Transmission market in the coming years.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Maine has deployed 559.2 MW of solar projects through mid-2022 and ranks 32nd in the U.S. for solar deployments, with 50 solar companies currently operating in the state.

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