Florida’s Largest Privately-Owned Solar Farm Growing to 120 MW
LAKE MARY, FL. – BlueChip Energy, LLC (BCE), a fully integrated solar energy provider for utility, commercial and residential applications, today announced the planned expansion of Sorrento Solar Farm to 120MW.
Already the State of Florida’s largest solar farm, expansion plans for the project will add an additional 300 acres to the original site, bringing the overall size from 40 MW to 120 MW – triple the 50 MW of utility-scale solar projects currently in operation and eclipsing the 115 MW of pre-operational projects in the state.
Despite recent industry setbacks, BCE sees a bright future ahead. With two of the Southeast’s largest PV projects underway, “We have never been busier or more optimistic.” states Thomas Gregory, BCE’s Chief Strategy Officer. “The company’s success can be attributed to several things including the rapidly dropping cost of PV and increasing demand. However, BCE’s biggest value driver is an all in one, completely integrated solar business model; allowing us to develop large scale solar projects at considerably lower costs than our counterparts and deliver clean energy at grid parity.”
With the expansion, BCE has opened the next round of funding for the project and has begun discussions with interested investors and strategic partners. BCE is in a position to structure financing solutions to meet specific needs of its business partners, offering investor participation in several low-risk cash flow streams throughout the solar development chain. Investors find this attractive based on:
- 25 years of stable electricity sales with low and fixed O&M costs
- Monetization of Renewable Energy Certificates, Emission Reduction Units and other Environmental Attributes
- 30% cash grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and;
- Tax Benefit of Accelerated Depreciation
The Sorrento Solar Farm will provide up to 250 construction and maintenance jobs, close to 150 manufacturing jobs and several million dollars in total wages. In addition, according to the Jobs and Economic Development Impact Model published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, it is estimated that a total of more than 2,200 jobs will be positively impacted over the life of the project – translating into over $366 million in earnings and positive impact to the local economy. BCE is continuing to hire, centering its expansion in the areas of manufacturing as well as its development of utility scale solar farm projects in Central Florida. Job seekers can find additional information at http://www.bluechipenergy.net/careers.html.
Upon completion, the Sorrento Solar Farm is expected to produce an estimated 192 million kilowatt hours (kWh) per year – enough to displace over 80,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, the equivalent of taking nearly 5,100 cars off the road. BCE also has an agreement with Progress Energy Florida for the purchase of energy generated from the solar farm.
About BlueChip Energy, LLC
BlueChip Energy, LLC (BCE) is a fully integrated solar PV power generator, occupying all segments of the solar power value chain — from the manufacturing of solar panels and balance of systems components by its wholly owned subsidiary Advanced Solar Photonics, to the sale of turnkey solar power plants, to the sale of solar electricity to utility, commercial and residential customers. BCE develops, finances, builds, operates and monitors solar plants for companies and individuals, as well as for its own portfolio.
BCE’s two flagship utility scale solar projects, the Rinehart Solar Farm (10 MW) and the Sorrento Solar Farm (120 MW), are approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as self-certified small power production facilities, or Qualified Facilities (QFs) requiring the local utility to provide interconnection to them and purchase the electricity they produce.
Additionally, both solar farms are approved to operate as Exempt Wholesale Generators (EWGs), providing the facilities with undisputed access to the power distribution network. FERC granted the company Market-Based Rate Authorization, allowing BCE to purchase and sell wholesale electricity and offer renewable energy products to customers.