The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a hit to many industries. Renewable energy wasn’t immune to the loss of revenue and jobs, but one company found a way to thrive despite the state of the nation. Impact Power Solutions, a community solar provider, is having a standout year while so many other companies are facing the severe negative effects of the virus.
Impact Solar Solutions (IPS) has been a well-known name in Minnesota’s renewable energy industry, but its 2020 growth has remained substantial. Chief development officer of the community solar provider, Eric Pasi, revealed that its revenue is expected to see a 60% growth by the end of 2020. For IPS, that’s approximately $35 million. It also ramped up employment and has several hundred employees each year to work on solar installations.
Private-equity firm SmartPitch Ventures revealed that it spent several million dollars to acquire IPS stocks in 2019, a move that has paid off well. SmartPitch has benefited from IPS’s continued growth, which has included the 140 megawatts of energy it’s producing and the 85 additional megawatts that are still being developed.
Further supporting the solar industry are companies like Xcel Energy, a leading energy provider in the West and Midwest United States. To help boost Minnesota’s economy, Xcel has announced it would be adding $3 billion in spending. It plans to build a new solar plant that would be four times larger than the current largest array in Minnesota. Xcel chose Becker as the site of the new plant and expects to create 3,000 jobs during construction. The company is also looking at refurbishing four wind farms with new turbines.
Minnesota Power has also announced plans to increase its investments with three new arrays slated in northern Minnesota. The trio of projects will cost approximately $40 million and will commence production in 2021. According to CEO Bethany Owen, the three arrays will increase the tax base, create jobs, and provide local manufacturers with business.