Leeward Renewable Energy LLC has completed construction of its 100 MW Oak Trail Solar project near Moyock, North Carolina, and the facility has reached commercial operation. Verizon Communications has supported the development of Oak Trail Solar through a long-term virtual purchase agreement.
“We are pleased to achieve commercial operation at Oak Trail Solar to help support Verizon’s sustainability goals,” said Jason Allen, CEO of Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE). “Oak Trail Solar is another example of how LRE seeks to meaningfully contribute to the communities where we live and operate. Our engagement goes well beyond job creation, economic investment, and the generation of clean, renewable energy. We strive to build lasting partnerships with civic leaders, property owners, and community members. At Oak Trail Solar, we are committed to doing just that while preserving and protecting the environment.”
Leeward Renewable Energy hosted a ceremonial ribbon-cutting event, in partnership with the American Clean Power Association (ACP), at the project site to celebrate the start of operations and the benefits Oak Trail Solar will bring to the local community. The event featured comments Allen, as well as Mary Doswell, Leeward board member; Jason Grumet, ACP CEO; Bruce Ledesma, Nextracker president of strategy, software and administration; Jim Gowen, Verizon SVP, global supply chain and sourcing, and chief sustainability officer; and Owen Etheridge, Currituck County Commissioner.
“Verizon is proud to work with organizations like LRE that are key to helping us achieve our sustainability goals,” Gowen said. “The renewable energy produced by Oak Trail Solar furthers Verizon’s commitment to protecting our planet and transitioning to a greener U.S. energy grid.”
Oak Trail Solar created approximately 300 jobs at peak construction and will provide long-term renewable energy jobs and significant property tax contributions to Currituck County. As part of LRE’s commitment to land stewardship, 30% of the project acreage will be filled with native vegetation and wildflowers that will provide a pollinator habitat, screening and other ecological benefits.
“Currituck County is excited to have a renewable energy project like Oak Trail Solar in our community,” said Josh Bass, president of the Currituck Chamber of Commerce. “The project helps us on a number of fronts and supports funding for essential services that keep our community strong.”
Leeward Renewable Energy projects are managed across the full project lifecycle with environmental, social and cultural considerations foremost in mind. The company prioritizes U.S.-made products and looks to partner with companies that share its vision of establishing a resilient domestic renewable energy industry throughout all aspects of LRE’s business. Oak Trail Solar uses First Solar PV modules, which use less energy, water and semiconductor material in their manufacturing and are designed to have a longer lifespan than other alternatives. The project also employs Nextracker solar tracker and software technology that optimizes energy capture and reliability features to protect solar panels and mitigate the adverse effects of extreme weather.
LRE owns and operates a portfolio of 26 wind, solar and energy storage facilities across the United States, totaling approximately 2,700 MW of generating capacity and is actively developing and contracting a robust pipeline of new renewable energy projects.
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