Construction has started for a $20 million Sacramento community solar project overseen by Lightsource bp. The solar development company recently closed on the costly deal and initiated construction on the Wildflower Solar Project being built north of Sacramento. Wildflower is expected to generate 16.5-megawatts of electricity, which will then be purchased by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). The community-owned non-profit electricity provider will then share the megawatts with Neighborhood SolarShares, its program to deliver solar to new housing developments.
The Sacramento community solar program simplifies solar production by allowing subscribers to benefit from renewable energy without having to build solar panels. According to SMUD’s CEO and general manager, Arlen Orchard, Wildflower and Neighborhood SolarShares are intended to lower construction costs while promoting a reduced carbon footprint.
To secure financing for the project, Lightsource approached Guardian Life Insurance Company of American. The life insurance company provided tax equity, which it pulled from its partnership with the Rockwood Group. European financier, Westminster Bank PLC, is serving as the senior project finance debt lender for the Wildflower Solar Project.
Though construction only recently started, Lightsource expects that the Sacramento community solar site will be operational by the year’s end. Pushing the project along is Construction Innovations, an electrical systems manufacturer, who partnered with Californian contractors to provide for local jobs. At least 75 team members will be hired from the community for on-site construction duties. Construction Innovations will also be offering full-time employment within its Sacramento facility.
Lightsource bp is known for its solar farm construction and management. The company has a goal to generate 10-gigawatts of renewable energy by 2023 while offering community solar solutions at no upfront cost to customers. Its team of 500 specialists works tirelessly to develop new ways to deliver solar and ultimately reach its 2023 goal.