Pine Gate Renewables advances 9 MW of Massachusetts cranberry bog solar + storage projects

Pine Gate Renewables announced it has secured funding for two new solar dual-use projects that will bring 9 MW of solar power and storage to the community of Carver, Massachusetts, while also preserving the cranberry cultivation land . These are Pine Gate’s first projects in the state of Massachusetts.

Solar Carver 1 will be built on a 70 hectare site that will produce 6 MW of energy along with a 24 MWh battery, while Solar Carver 3 will produce 3 MW and house a 12 MWh battery spread over a site of 35 hectares. The long-life batteries allow the system to optimize its energy profile on the grid. The projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

“We are delighted to continue to play a role in the advancement of agrivoltaics with Solar Carver 1 and 3, which will benefit local cranberry growers and provide clean energy, tax money and jobs for the community,” said Ben Catt, CEO of Pine Gate Renewables. .

Solar Carver 1 & 3 will be part of the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program, a long-term solar energy program with the intention of acquiring 3,200 MW of new solar energy projects in the Commonwealth.

Most solar projects are built using steel scaffolding, but in order to create enough space for the cranberry bogs below, Pine Gate’s expert EPC team will design the Solar Carver projects to be built at 25-40 ft long wooden electricity poles, which are more durable for the wet terrain. These posts are driven 15-30 ft into the ground to keep the trackers at least 10 ft above the cranberry swamps and allow annual fall harvest.

Pine Gate works with local cranberry farmers to tend the land and manage the harvesting process.

The Solar Carver projects will provide temporary construction jobs for hundreds of workers during construction and will keep local cranberry farms active. In addition, the storage component provides the necessary backup power for both projects to maintain the integrity of the Commonwealth grid.

These projects have also been selected to participate in a University of Massachusetts-Amherst study into the dual-use solar array between rows of solar panels and cranberry production.

In this $ 53 million project, John Hancock served as sponsored equity arranger, Live Oak Bank provided the permanent debt financing and US Bank provided the tax assets.

“Live Oak Bank is proud to support its dual-use solar energy projects. Pine Gate Renewables is at the forefront of Massachusetts,” said Jennifer Williams, Live Oak Bank’s chief of renewable energy. “Our team is committed to helping project developers expand their solar portfolios and ultimately make a positive impact on the local economy and climate change.”

“US Bank is delighted to be part of this first project of its kind that will enable solar energy to co-exist with cranberry farming,” said Jonathan Peeples, business development officer at US Bancorp Community Development Corporation, the tax dollars of the bank and subsidiary for community investment. “We appreciate our continued partnership with Pine Gate and its unique, creative approaches that help us all be responsible stewards of the environment.”

News release from Pine Gate Renewables

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