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Solar project planned on soybean farm in Middlesex County

Crystal Graham
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Greenbacker Capital Management, a leading renewable energy asset manager, has purchased a 3.9 MWdc to-be-constructed solar farm, marking its first clean energy asset in Virginia. Greenbacker purchased the project from Sun Tribe, a developer with more than 100 renewables projects in the state.

The project has a long-term power purchase agreement in place to sell energy, capacity, ancillary services and renewable energy credits to an investment-grade utility.

The acquisition contributes to Greenbacker’s strategy of owning and operating renewable energy assets that seek to provide reliable long-term revenue.

The Wood Brothers Road Solar project will be located on a portion of an active soybean farm in Middlesex County, where it’s slated to reach commercial operation in the first half of 2024. Along with adding solar energy to the farm’s harvest, Wood Brothers also provides supplemental income to the landowner in the form of land lease payments over the lifetime of the project.

“We’re proud to expand Greenbacker’s fleet of renewables projects into new territory with our first clean energy asset in Virginia,” said Mehul Mehta, CIO of Greenbacker. “Collaborating with Sun Tribe’s solar development experts has led to a great example of a win-win project that will deliver cheaper clean power to Virginia, while making responsible dual use of the farmland it sits on.”

Virginia offers a growing market for renewable energy projects. The Virginia Clean Economy Act passed in 2020 set the state on a path to more than double its solar energy capacity and mandated that Virginia’s two major regulated utilities achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2045 and 2050, respectively.

“As a Virginia-based company, the transition of the energy economy occurring in the Commonwealth is something we’re extremely proud to be a part of,” said Danny Van Clief, CEO of Sun Tribe Development. “Landowners, local governments, and energy buyers put their trust in us to help them participate meaningfully in that transition. When our work is complete and meets the standards of an elite owner-operator such as Greenbacker, we feel we’ve earned that trust.”

Greenbacker Capital Management LLC is an SEC registered investment adviser that provides advisory and oversight services related to project development, acquisition, and operations in the renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainability industries.

For more information, please visit www.greenbackercapital.com.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.