US-based solar developer, Lightsource bp, mobilized construction on its Wildflower Solar project in Sacramento, California, after closing a $20 million financing package. The project at Rio Linda in Sacramento will generate 16.5MW (DC)/13MW (AC) of electricity, which can power 2,600 homes.
The power harnessed at Wildflower Solar will be purchased by Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), a community-owned electric utility.
The power purchased by SMUD will be channeled to support its ‘Neighbourhood Solarshares Program,’ which provides power to new housing developments through an off-site utility-scale solar project.
Incidentally, the Wildflower project covers not only renewable energy but also ecological conservation. The project aims to create a pollinator-friendly solar farm to restore and conserve pollinator habitat.
“The affordability of solar, combined with its generation of emissions-free electricity, has made it an ideal source to add to our country’s energy mix. Adding on benefits such as community solar programs that help contribute to affordable housing, along with implementing long-term land management plans that enhance local biodiversity, are all ways that we can work together to multiply solar’s contribution to our nation’s economy and environment.” – Kevin Smith, CEO of the Americas for Lightsource bp
Across the world, habitat loss and climate change have drastically reduced pollinator populations. Pollinators help over 85% of the flowering plants and more than two-thirds of the world’s crop species. Their declining population will have catastrophic effects on food systems worldwide.
According to researchers at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, stable pollinator populations can be facilitated by pollinator-friendly solar farms. It has allowed nearby agricultural land to be pollinated and, ultimately, boosted crop yields.
Lightsource BP has planted species-rich seed mixes to create habitats for pollinators and has even installed beehives on the boundaries of their UK sites.
Mercom had earlier reported that Lightsource bp had raised £150 million in debt financing from Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), a long-term institutional investor. The funds will be utilized to finance a portfolio of solar assets owned and managed by Lightsource bp.
Mercom had also reported that Lightsource bp had completed its first utility-scale solar project in India. The project has been developed in Wagdari, located in the state of Maharashtra. The 60 MW project, spread across 240 acres, is among the first Solar Energy Corporation India (SECI) tenders to be completed and can power around 20,000 homes.
Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.