Strata Solar announced May 1 that it has installed nine utility-scale solar projects across North Carolina using more than $100m of tax-equity financing provided by a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC).
Duke Energy Progress, a Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) subsidiary formerly known as Progress Energy Carolinas, will purchase the power. Supported by a 35% North Carolina Renewable Energy Tax Credit, the projects create local jobs and provide additional income for those who lease their land for the solar projects.
“We are very proud of our ability to invest and build in North Carolina’s rural communities. These projects bring jobs, significant local spend, and an increase in the tax base without the requirement of county dollars which is typical of development projects,” said Markus Wilhelm, Strata Solar CEO. “On a number of occasions we’ve witnessed these projects having an impact on attracting additional investors who are looking for business-friendly environments.”
The three largest projects – Bladenboro, Wagstaff and Nash 58 – all exceed 6 MW in capacity and provide a significant boost to the local tax base without requiring additional county expenditures on sewer, roads or any other infrastructure, Strata Solar noted.
“As a leading provider of capital in renewable energy and cleantech across the U.S., Wells Fargo is excited to participate in the rapid expansion of solar in the Southeast,” said Barry Neal, Head of Wells Fargo’s Environmental Finance Group.
Since 2006, Wells Fargo has provided over $4bn in tax equity and construction financing for renewable energy projects in 28 states, including over $1.3bn for more than 300 solar projects. Renewable project finance is part of a comprehensive goal Wells Fargo announced in 2012 to deploy by 2020 an additional $30bn in financing to build a greener economy.
Strata Solar is a national leader of utility scale solar energy systems and installations. Strata is headquartered in Chapel Hill, N.C., with an expansive O&M facility nearby.