National Cooperative Bank (NCB) said Feb. 3 that it has provided $82m in financing for solar projects in 2013, working with Strata Solar of Chapel Hill, N.C., on 15 solar projects around the state that provided 94 MW of power.
“National Cooperative Bank is proud to continue its commitment to funding sustainable projects, part of its mission as a socially-responsible lending organization,” said Matt Wright, Senior Vice President at NCB. “We are pleased to partner with Strata Solar, a similar mission-focused firm, and look forward to what our partnership can accomplish in the coming year.”
The projects the bank financed resulted in 94 MW of power, which equates to powering 11,250 homes. It will also offset over 63,360 tons of CO2, which is equivalent to reducing auto travel by 120 million miles and reducing the carbon footprint by 11,700 cars. One hundred percent of the electricity generated will be purchased by subsidiaries of Duke Energy. More than half of the solar projects also serve low to moderate income and rural communities.
The bank’s partner, Strata Solar, is committed to hiring and training a local workforce for long-term employment opportunities, the bank noted. In 2013, Strata Solar tripled its workforce by creating 1,200 new jobs.
“We work very closely with local employment and economic development offices where our major projects are built and we hire and train individuals for a secure future in solar development,” said Markus Wilhelm, CEO of Strata Solar. “Our strategy is to build our utility scale projects in regional ‘clusters’ so that our teams move from one job to the next creating sustainable long-term job growth.”
NCB is dedicated to strengthening communities nationwide through the delivery of banking and financial services, complemented by a special focus on cooperative expansion and economic development. Headquartered in Washington, DC, it has offices in Alaska, California, New York, Ohio and Virginia.
Strata Solar is a national leader in utility scale solar energy systems and installations. It offers a full array of development, engineering, procurement, construction, operation and maintenance services to companies interested in clean renewable energy.