HERO Solar (Hamilton Energy Resource Opportunities LLC) announced today it has completed the interconnection study process and has signed and entered into an interconnect agreement with Progress Energy Florida for a 70-MW solar farm in Hamilton County, Florida.
HERO’s Managing Director of Development, Jack Levine, said “We are grateful to Progress Energy and their Interconnect Team who has helped us every step of the way through Feasibility, System Impact and Facility Studies to insure FERC guidelines and utility requirements were met. We are delighted to have accomplished this impressive milestone and are excited about starting our construction build out. We look forward to continuing working with our partners at Progress Energy and commend their efforts to develop alternative fuel sources and provide economic development within their service areas.”
Commenting on the status of Florida’s solar economy and the start of construction, Levine added, “Right now there are regulatory barriers that do not allow us to recognize the added value of alternative energy and therefore have impeded the ability for the project to be adequately funded. As such, we are now beginning to look for and aggressively examine strategic alternatives that will allow us to get the project built. This project is ideal for the right tax equity partner or a company looking to expand their strategic footprint in the United States.”
Hamilton County Economic Development Authority Executive Director, Susan Ramsey, who has worked with HERO since the project was conceived in 2009 said “On behalf of the Board of Directors for the Hamilton County Development Authority, we are excited that HERO continues to move forward with this pioneering solar energy project here in Hamilton County. The Board has set aside an economic development grant to HERO in the amount of $350,000.00. This project will have a substantial, positive economic impact in Hamilton County through not only the permanent jobs created, but the high volume of construction jobs and indirect jobs generated over the 2 year build-out period as well. HERO is a tremendous growth opportunity for the county’s economy and accomplishes our goal of supporting green energy. We are impressed with the progress made to date and continue to support HERO’s efforts and devotion to get this project built.”
Levine noted, “We are proud to work with industry leader Schneider Electric and their fine engineering and design team, who has assisted us through the application process and provided final design plans for the solar field and substation. We also have benefitted tremendously from the expertise and experience of Dr. Thomas Damberger who has been a vital part of the HERO team in his project management capacity.”
Levine further commented, “HERO believes in Florida and its future as a leader in green energy development and production. We appreciate the attention the Florida legislature has placed on these important issues. We have met with and will continue to share ideas and explore solutions with Governor Scott and his staff, Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnum and his Staff, as well as legislators, lobbyists and other concerned parties in an effort to forge ahead with a renewable energy program that will allow important projects like ours to be built and enable Florida to become a leader in renewable energy.”
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