Oriden Helps Blue Ridge Energy Reduce Carbon Emissions and Stabilize Rates with Utility-Scale Solar Project
- More than 19,000 megawatt hours of carbon-free electricity will be produced annually
- Project will help control wholesale power costs to keep rates stable for the electric cooperative’s members
LENOIR, N.C. (April 6, 2021) – Blue Ridge Energy, a member-owned electric cooperative serving northwest North Carolina, has selected Oriden LLC to develop a utility-scale solar project as part of its Brighter Future initiative. This project will provide a local generation source and allow Blue Ridge Energy to work towards their low cost, low carbon future with two significant carbon reduction targets: to achieve 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 and to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Blue Ridge Energy’s CEO, Doug Johnson, said, “To meet our sustainability goals while upholding our commitments to reliability and affordability, we are focusing our efforts on areas that make the electric grid more flexible, efficient, resilient, and capable of supporting new energy solutions and the vitality of our communities. We look forward to implementing Oriden’s custom-designed large-scale solar solution, which we have named Brighter Future Solar, to help meet our goals.”
The Brighter Future Solar project will provide substantial additional carbon-free electricity to Blue Ridge Energy. The utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) project will cover 50 to 55 acres in southern Caldwell County and will provide 11 megawatts of power — enough for 1,600 homes. By comparison, Blue Ridge Energy’s five existing community solar gardens cover about four acres combined and produce enough power for 75 homes.
Scheduled to come online this year, the Brighter Future Solar project will generate and send 19,000 megawatt hours of carbon-free electricity into the grid annually. Blue Ridge Energy will purchase the full output of the project through a 25-year fully bundled Power Purchase Agreement. This will help control wholesale power costs to keep rates stable for cooperative members. In the future, the project can help the cooperative provide alternative rate options to benefit the membership and help manage peak power demands for electricity.
Three companies are supporting the Brighter Future Solar project:
Oriden is leading the development and financing, while overseeing all project permitting, site diligence, engineering, and major equipment decisions. Oriden is a full-service renewable energy developer funded and backed by Mitsubishi Power Americas, Inc., an industry leader in power generation, renewables and energy storage solutions.
United Renewable Energy™ LLC is providing late stage development support, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services using local North Carolina based management and labor. URE develops, designs, builds and maintains solar photovoltaic and energy storage systems for utilities, industrial and commercial companies, independent power producers, and electrical membership co-operatives.
Pisgah Energy supported local community engagement and permitting efforts. The company provides comprehensive solar and energy storage design and development services across the Southeast.
Michael Berlin, Director of Energy Development at Oriden, said, “Blue Ridge Energy’s investment in solar shows great leadership and ensures its members’ energy generation needs are met sustainably and affordably. Oriden appreciates Blue Ridge Energy’s partnership and will execute with a focus on exceptional quality as it brings northwestern North Carolina a Change in Power.”
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Blue Ridge Energy
About Oriden LLC
Located in Pittsburgh, Oriden develops, constructs, finances, owns and operates renewable energy projects throughout the United States. As local governments, public institutions and corporations prioritize cleaner sources for their energy needs, they want a developer with the ingenuity, the agility and the speed of a start-up — a fearless pioneer. But they also want to mitigate risk with a proven veteran that has the financial strength and experience to develop, commercialize, operate and own a highly complex project. Oriden is venture funded and backed by Mitsubishi Power Americas, Inc., which has more than a century of experience manufacturing, servicing and providing power and energy solutions globally. For more information, visit the Oriden website and the Mitsubishi Power Americas website.
About Blue Ridge Energy
Blue Ridge Energy is a member-owned electric cooperative serving some 77,000 members in northwest North Carolina. The cooperative is committed to powering a Brighter Future for its members and communities by adding sustainable, renewable energy, using innovative technology for a reliable, resilient power grid and enriching the lives of the people it serves. For more information, visit BlueRidgeEnergy.com.
SHELBY, Ohio, Oct. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — On a partly cloudy day in December of 2019, the mayor of Shelby, Ohio, flipped the switch that would add clean, renewable solar power to the town’s power grid system. Earlier that day, engineers had finalized the testing needed to launch commercial operation of a new solar array, and over the last ten months, Shelby residents have been reaping the benefits of the renewable energy resource and a smaller carbon footprint.
Kimberly-Clark, United Renewable Energy® LLC and NextEra Energy Resources Team Up to Construct Solar Project in LaGrange, Georgia
LAGRANGE, Ga., Feb. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A 3MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project has been completed and commercialized by United Renewable Energy at Kimberly-Clark’s facility in LaGrange, Georgia. The project was the result of collaboration between Kimberly-Clark’s facility, United Renewable Energy LLC as the project developer and builder, and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC through a subsidiary, which is the long-term project owner. All of the output from the new solar facility, along with all the renewable energy credits (RECs) will be sold to Georgia Power as part of Georgia Power’s Renewable Energy Development Initiative, and the associated RECs will be retired on behalf of all of Georgia Power’s customers.
Pete: First, congratulations on making Solar Power World’s Top Solar Contractors list. What is the story behind how United Renewable Energy was founded?
William: Thank you Pete, I am very proud of our team and the work we do to provide quality solar projects. United Renewable Energy, LLC was founded in January of 2008 in Georgia by myself and my future wife at the time, Shana [Haygood] Silva. We have four children and live in Cherokee County, GA. Shana is a graduate of Georgetown University Law School, and she is the daughter of an Air Force Academy graduate, and a first daughter of Texas. I graduated with engineering degrees from George Mason University and the University at Buffalo, and am a first-generation American, son of an American mother and my father is an immigrant from Colombia, South America. We started working from our dining room in Alpharetta, and eventually grew into our current 7,000 sq ft facility in Alpharetta, (Forsyth County), Georgia. Today, United Renewable Energy, LLC (URE) is a highly experienced development and construction firm specializing in industrial and utility solar and energy storage systems. URE is a licensed multi-state general and electrical contractor operating throughout the country. URE’s focus on key utility and industrial partners allows us to deliver solar projects with utility level safety, quality, and performance at the lowest possible cost in the Eastern United States. URE employs over 35 full-time employees, and with contract personnel, employ around 200 during full construction, which is typically more than half of the year.
United Renewable Energy LLC™ Constructs Two Utility Scale Projects, United Community Bank Provides Debt to Owners
GREENVILLE, S.C., Sept. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — United Renewable Energy LLC, a leading national solar project developer and construction firm, has completed construction on two solar photovoltaic projects in Georgia totaling over 3.8 MW of generation on approximately 30 acres of land. Both projects were made possible by debt financing from United Community Bank, a Southeastern regional community bank with specialized commercial lending capabilities, including renewable energy financing.
United Renewable Energy Developed Project wins Energy Storage North America (ESNA) 2018 Innovation Award!
PASADENA, Calif., Nov. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Cypress Creek Renewables received an Energy Storage North America (ESNA) 2018 Innovation Award for leadership in energy storage and positive impact on the energy storage industry, displayed in their collaboration on a series of solar-plus-storage projects.
In March, Lockheed Martin and Cypress Creek Renewables commissioned 12 MWh of GridStar® Lithium energy storage systems for 12 solar-plus-storage projects. The solar-plus-storage system is custom-designed to provide clean electricity to communities served by Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) in southeastern North Carolina.
The unique portfolio of solar-plus-storage projects ensures energy delivery to Brunswick EMC during its peak periods. The GridStar energy storage systems store power from the solar installations and discharge it when needed most, providing reliable, renewable power.
These 12 solar-plus-storage projects represent the first set of battery storage projects developed, constructed, financed and commissioned by Cypress Creek. Cypress Creek acquired the projects from United Renewable Energy, the initial developer of the projects.
“We are thrilled to have our first set of battery storage projects recognized with this award,” said Brian Knowles, director of energy storage, Cypress Creek Renewables. “Projects like these provide real value to our utility customers by delivering energy exactly when it’s needed.”
Energy Storage North America, the most influential gathering of policy, technology and market leaders in energy storage, celebrated the winners of its 2018 Innovation Awards during a reception at the Pasadena Convention Center on Nov. 7. Winners were recognized for their impact on the energy storage ecosystem, services supplied to customers and the grid, unique technology solutions, financing, or partnerships. The Lockheed Martin – Cypress Creek Renewables project was named a winner in the “Front-of-the-Meter” category by ESNA, decided with input from public voting.
“It’s an honor to receive this Innovation Award from ESNA,” said Roger Flanagan, director for Lockheed Martin Energy. “We are committed to evolving energy storage by developing new technologies to optimize renewable energy use, manage localized power demand, and improve reliability of the electric grid for generations to come. Innovation is a part of our everyday process.”
Lockheed Martin’s GridStar Lithium energy storage systems, like the one used in this installation, are compact, easy to install, and scalable for 100 kW to multi-MW projects. GridStar system architecture consists of modular, purpose-built energy storage units that contain batteries, local controls software and all required balance-of-system components. The systems are certified to UL 9540 standards, a key certification for product safety for energy storage systems and equipment.
Lockheed Martin Energy is a line of business within Lockheed Martin that delivers distributed energy solutions for utility, commercial, industrial, government and military customers. For additional information, visit our website: www.lockheedmartin.com/energy.
About Lockheed Martin:
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company
that employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. This year the company received three Edison Awards for ground-breaking innovations in autonomy, satellite technology and directed energy.
About Cypress Creek Renewables LLC:
Cypress Creek believes solar makes the world cleaner and healthier. Our team successfully develops, builds and operates solar facilities across the United States. With more than 3 gigawatts of solar developed and deployed in more than a dozen states, Cypress Creek Renewables is one of the country’s leading solar companies. For more information about Cypress Creek Renewables, please visit https://ccrenew.com.
About Energy Storage North America
Energy Storage North America (ESNA) is the largest conference, exhibition and networking event covering all applications of grid storage in North America. ESNA is produced by Strategen Consulting and Messe Dusseldorf North America, and is part of the larger World of Energy Storage events in Europe, India, China and Japan. ESNA connects utilities, developers, energy users, policy makers and other key stakeholders from around the world to advance understanding and deployment of energy storage, and ultimately build a cleaner, more affordable and more resilient grid. ESNA 2019 will be held November 5-7, 2019 in San Diego. To learn more about ESNA, visit www.esnaexpo.com.
SOURCE Lockheed Martin
SWAINSBORO, Ga., Sept. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ –The Dixon family of Swainsboro, Georgia realized the value of adding sustainable green energy to the community to promote a healthy environment. They chose to take their 26 acres of cultivated fields out of production to become the largest solar site in Swainsboro. The Dixons are able to generate a greater income from the once cultivated land. As is our standard policy, United Renewable Energy LLC™ (URE™) utilized as many local laborers and contractors as possible to build the array. Andy Dixon’s own fence company, Central Fence, provided and installed the fencing for the project. “URE made the process of constructing the project a pleasant experience,” said Andy Dixon.
COMER, Ga., Sept. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — United Renewable EnergyTM (URETM) is proud to announce the completion of a 2-Megawatt AC solar facility as the first installment of Georgia Power’s Community Solar program. This project is a win for all Georgia Power residential customers, as they are now able to source a portion of their energy use from a local, clean, renewable resource by participating in Georgia Power’s Community Solar Program. This is also a win for the Comer community and the facility land owner.
O2 EMC Partners with United Renewable Energy to Construct a 3.3 MW Solar Project to serve the town of Bedford, VA
BEDFORD, Va., May 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — O2 EMC and United Renewable Energy™ LLC (URE™) have completed the construction of the Bedford Solar Farm, a 3MW AC (3.3MW DC) solar power system located on approximately 16 acres of land in Bedford, Virginia. The solar power system is a perfect use for the property that is adjacent to a landfill and owned by the city.