OYA Solar announced that construction has now started on its 6.8 MW DC community solar project in Constable, Franklin County, New York. Slated to be placed in service in early 2021, the project will bring construction and engineering jobs as well as demand for local goods and services to the region during the economic downturn caused by the global pandemic.
"Community solar projects provide direct economic benefits to the local community well past the construction phase," says Manish Nayar, CEO and Founder of OYA Solar. "The immediate impact of construction on the local economy will be followed with access to the long-term benefits of solar energy including, energy bill discounts for local businesses and residents, expanding pollinator-friendly habitats and contributing to the reduction in harmful greenhouse gases."
The community solar project has attracted several sizable subscribers including Hannaford Supermarkets. Under the terms of the agreement, Hannaford will purchase NYSERDA VDER credits generated by the solar facility that will be used to offset the purchase of power for five grocery stores located in the NYSEG utility service territory in upstate New York. The 25-year subscription agreement for 20% of the facility's generation, or approximately 50% of the non-mass-market eligible generation, marks a significant milestone for the project as OYA Solar works to finalize terms of an approximate $4 million tax equity financing currently under negotiation.
"Projects such as this one are important pieces of Hannaford's commitment to operating our stores sustainably," said Eric Blom, Hannaford spokesman. "We have been on a journey to reduce energy usage within our supermarkets for many years, and solar power initiatives provide an exciting new way for us to cut down on the use of fossil fuels within our region."
In addition to the Hannaford subscription, earlier this year OYA Solar signed an agreement with affordable housing provider Christopher Community Inc. and is expected to execute subscriptions for the remaining unallocated generation with local residents, public sector agencies and businesses prior to the end of the year.
The successful development of the Constable solar project proves that the solar industry can mobilize quickly to become an immediate driver of economic growth and employment during COVID-19. The severe economic impact of the pandemic has shown that solar developers are in a unique position to grow employment in regions where jobs have typically been difficult to attract.
The Constable solar project is one of 17 community solar projects totalling 100 MWDC that OYA intends to build in 2021 under the NYSERDA NY-Sun program. OYA Solar has seen incredible growth in its 1 GW pipeline of community solar and utility scale projects and expects to increase investment in strong markets such as New York and expand access to affordable and clean energy.
As with all construction projects, OYA Solar is strictly following all Covid-19 safety protocols and taking all precautions necessary to keep everyone safe at our construction sites and the surrounding community.