Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC recently acquired a 10.4-megawatt Minnesota community solar portfolio spanning eight solar installations. The portfolio was purchased from ReneSolar Power, a developer of solar projects and sustainable products. The eight installations are single-axis tracker solar gardens and are spread across multiple counties in southern Minnesota.
To keep customer benefits in place, Nautilus Solar Energy will operate the Minnesota community solar portfolio under Xcel Energy’s rewards program. Like most community solar projects, the program allows customers to receive the benefits of solar without having to install costly panels on their homes. Through the rewards program, an estimated $1.8 million is expected to be saved throughout the life of the community solar project.
Currently, the portfolio of sites is expected to become operational in early 2021. Once they come online, the eight locations will generate enough power to run more than 1,400 homes. While Xcel will provide customers with the Solar Rewards Community Program, Nautilus will handle the project and subscriber management. Any maintenance performed on the sites will also be completed by the solar provider. ReneSola will still have a role in subscriber procurement.
Both residential and commercial customers will be able to participate in the community solar projects. The eight-site portfolio will positively impact the state’s goal to secure 10% of its energy from clean solar projects by 2030.
According to ReneSola Power North America CEO, John Ewen, the current uncertainties across the United States haven’t prevented the two from moving forward with the acquisition. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Ewen confirms, the community solar market is still strong and growing in the U.S.
Nautilus Solar Co-CEO, Jim Rice, states that the new program will allow the company to increase its number of Minnesota subscribers. Rice confirmed that Nautilus will target both commercial and residential customers to ensure the community solar portfolio is running at maximum capacity.
Nautilus has been in operation for 14 years and has invested $1.2 billion into nationwide solar projects. ReneSola Power was founded in 2005 and has since become an international leader in solar development.