Nautilus Solar Energy, a solar project developer through its subsidiary Nautilus U.S. Power Holdco, has acquired two community solar portfolios with five projects totaling 26.2 MW in Maine from BNRG Maine, a joint venture between BNRG Renewables and Dirigo Solar.
The projects are in various stages of development and spread across Cumberland, Kennebec, and Penobscot counties. The projects will reach commercial operation by the third quarter of 2022.
Upon completion, the solar projects are expected to provide an alternative energy option to 6,000 residential households within Central Maine Power (CMP) electric utility territory and commercial off-takers within the Versant electric utility territory. Once fully operational, the projects are expected to generate over 36 million kilowatt-hours (kWhs) annually, contributing to Maine’s goals of providing economic growth and relying on 80% clean energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050 program.
These portfolios are a part of Maine’s Net Energy Billing program, which Governor Mills amended to provide renewable energy and reduced costs and benefits to its existing residential customers. Any residential CMP utility customer is eligible to subscribe to these projects through Nautilus with no upfront cost, no long-term commitment, and no cancellation fees.
Currently, Nautilus has acquired and developed more than 92 MW of community solar projects in Maine, of which 52 M.W. will be the operational end of Q3 2022 and 88 MW by the end of 2022.
“After our first successful transaction with the BNRG Maine team, where we had to overcome many market challenges, it was a pleasure to work closely with them again on the second transaction. Not only did their local expertise expedite timelines and reduce development risks in this emerging solar market, but they also proved once again to be creative and reliable partners. We really appreciate the opportunity for repetitive business with them,” said Daniela Pangallo, Director of Business Development for Nautilus.
Last week, BluEarth, an independent renewable power producer focused on acquiring, developing, constructing, and operating wind, hydro and solar projects across the U.S., has acquired the Eads solar and wind project in Colorado from NorthRenew Energy, a US-based renewable and sustainable project developer. The project is located in Kiowa and Cheyenne Counties and is expected to be developed in multiple phases of new solar and wind generation.
According to Mercom’s Q1 2022 solar funding and M&A report, 23 GW of large-scale solar projects were acquired in Q1 2022 compared to 13.1 GW in Q4 2021. Project developers and independent power producers were the most active acquirers in Q1 2022, with over 17 GW of projects being acquired, followed by investment firms and funds, which acquired 3.6 GW.