Canadian Solar Inc. (“Canadian Solar”) (NASDAQ: CSIQ) today announced its wholly-owned subsidiary, Recurrent Energy, LLC (“Recurrent”), has completed a purchase and sale agreement with Appalachian Power for Recurrent’s Firefly Energy solar project located in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. With a capacity of 150 MWac, the Firefly project will be Appalachian Power’s largest solar energy acquisition to date and will help the utility meet its clean energy requirements under the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA).
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 serves customers in Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee, 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.
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. “We appreciate Recurrent working with the County to strike a balance that allows solar development to happen in a way that minimizes visual impact and positively impacts our community,” said County Administrator David Smitherman.
“The 150 MWac Firefly project in Virginia expands our growing footprint across the eastern United States, delivering turnkey projects for utilities and other investors,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar. “We are pleased to have been selected through a competitive process and to be a part of Appalachian Power’s major solar energy expansion. We look forward to advancing this project through development and construction, and delivering a renewable solar energy project to Appalachian Power that will help them serve their Virginia customers.”
Passed in 2020 by the Virginia General Assembly, the VCEA seeks to end carbon dioxide emissions from the utility industry in Virginia. Appalachian Power intends to meet its VCEA targets primarily through future investments in solar, wind, energy storage, and energy efficiency measures.
“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. “We are eager to work with Recurrent and for the significant economic benefits construction will have on the surrounding community.”
Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is part of American Electric Power, which is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions. AEP’s approximately 16,800 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 223,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.5 million customers in 11 states. AEP is also one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 30,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 5,500 megawatts of renewable energy.