U.S.-based renewable energy developer Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE) has commenced the construction on its 100 MW Oak Trail solar facility in North Carolina.
LRE will sell the energy generated from the project to Verizon Communications under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA).
“The renewable energy produced by the Oak Trail Solar project will help us achieve net zero emissions in our operations by 2035,” said James Gowen, Verizon’s chief sustainability officer and senior vice president.
Oak Trail Solar is expected to reach commercial operation by mid-2023 and provide approximately 280 jobs at peak construction. The project will use solar modules provided by First Solar.
As part of its commitment to land stewardship, LRE plans to use 30 percent of the project area to establish a pollinator habitat, planting native vegetation and wildflowers for screening to provide ecological benefits to the area.
“In addition to helping North Carolina achieve its clean energy goals, this project will have a significant and positive economic impact to our County and schools without stressing the County’s infrastructure,” said Josh Bass, president, Currituck Chamber of Commerce.
LRE owns and operates a portfolio of 24 renewable energy facilities across nine states totaling approximately 2,500 MW of generating capacity.
“Oak Trail Solar marks another milestone in the growth of LRE’s renewable energy portfolio and is an example of how we manage our projects in alignment with our core values of protecting and respecting the environment and communities in which we operate,” said Sam Mangrum, SVP of Project Execution at LRE.
LRE is developing and contracting new wind, solar, and energy storage projects across the U.S., with 1.9 GW contracted and 20 GW under development and construction spanning over 100 projects.