New Leaf Energy sells 21 MW of community solar projects


Standard Solar has acquired a planned 21 MW of solar projects in New York and Massachusetts from New Leaf Energy. New Leaf Energy was formed last July as a spin off from Borrego, and was purchased by Energy Capital Partners.

“Community solar projects like these will generate clean, reliable energy needed by residents and businesses and are integral in helping New York and Massachusetts reach their renewable energy and climate goals,” said Michael Streams, chief development officer for Standard Solar.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, New York ranks ninth in the U.S. for installed solar, while Massachusetts ranks tenth. New York is one of the epicenters of community solar in the United States, hitting the milestone of 1 GW of cumulative installations earlier this year, and currently holding a pipeline of more than 700 potential projects on the way.

The Copicut project in Freetown, Mass., is a single-axis tracker solar-plus-storage project with over 12 MW of solar and 22 MWh of storage. Upon completion, it will produce 17,924 MWh of energy annually. The project received an award from the state’s Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program, which provides solar and storage project incentives.

The 2.79 MW Main Street Newbury system is a ground-mount system located in Byfield, Mass. and is fully subscribed to commercial and residential subscribers in Byfield and the surrounding area. This project is expected to produce 3,571 MWh of clean energy annually.

The Saunders Settlement project in Sanborn, New York, is over 6 MW and is expected to produce approximately 8,861 MWh annually.

“At New Leaf Energy, we take pride in focusing on projects that provide the greatest value to decarbonizing the electricity system, and community solar projects fit that bill: they bring clean, renewable power to more consumers and add resiliency to the electrical grid,” said Brendan Neagle, New Leaf Energy’s executive vice president for project finance. “We are excited to continue our partnership with Standard Solar and bring more community solar online where it’s needed most.”

These are not the first solar-plus-storage or community solar sites in the northeast to be acquired by Standard Solar. Just over a year ago Standard Solar announced that it had acquired from EDF Renewables a solar-plus-storage project developed on an EPA Superfund site in Acton, Massachusetts. The project is the 4.69MW/4MWh Lawsbrook Solar + Storage project, and it’s housed on the W.R. Grace Superfund Site, an area formerly used for gravel extraction and acquired by EDF Renewables in 2018. The project also operates under Massachusetts’ Solar Massachusetts Renewable Targets (SMART) program, which provides incentives for solar and storage projects.

Also announced last February was the acquisition of a 7MW community solar project in Trenton, ME. The project, Trenton’s first large-scale community solar installation, is also part of the state’s Net Energy Billing program, and will bring a 15% to 25% energy savings to nine leading Maine businesses that have subscribed, sharing the benefits without having to connect to it or invest in its development.

Last September Standard Solar, which is based in Rockville, Maryland, was acquired by Brookfield Renewable for consideration of $540 million with the potential to invest an additional $160 million to support the business’ growth initiatives. Standard Solar is a developer, owner and operator of commercial and community distributed solar. At the time of purchase, Standard Solar had approximately 500 MW of operating and under construction contracted assets.

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