Greenbacker Acquires 41 MW solar asset in Michigan

The company acquires its largest project in the state, packaged with an option to add power storage

New York, NY, September 7, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company LLC (“GREC” or “Greenbacker”), a leading owner and operator of sustainable infrastructure and energy efficiency projects, announced today that, through a wholly owned subsidiary, it purchased Heathlands, a 41-MW utility-scale solar project from Prism Power Partners LLC (“Prism”). The to-be-constructed asset is the second project in Prism’s 53-MW 2022 Michigan portfolio, the other being a 12-MW pre-operational solar project which Greenbacker also purchased earlier this year. Heathlands marks Greenbacker’s largest asset in Michigan, as the company continues to expand its footprint in the Great Lakes State.

The Heathlands solar project also comes with the potential to build out energy storage capabilities. The facility was designed with the option to add co-located battery energy storage systems onsite. Power storage coupled with renewable energy offers numerous advantages, such as lowering consumer electric bills by discharging stored energy during periods of peak demand and saving power reserves for specific use during emergencies.

Heathlands is Greenbacker’s third acquisition from developer Prism, with whom the company has an ongoing relationship. In 2019, GREC acquired Prism’s Electric City solar project, a 19-MW facility located in southwestern Michigan. Similar to Electric City, Greenbacker plans to plant pollinator-friendly vegetation below the solar panels at Heathlands. These plants will support declining pollinator populations and sequester carbon in the earth via deeper root systems, which also improve a site’s soil stability and mitigate storm water runoff. Because it requires less mowing and maintenance, introducing this flora can help reduce a site’s operating costs, as well.

“We’re excited to help lower consumer power bills and increase clean energy availability across the state of Michigan,” said Charles Wheeler, CEO of GREC. “Our continuing partnership with Prism has helped support local jobs and create meaningful sustainable power generation for Michiganders—not to mention the additional benefits and dependability that can accompany any future energy storage functionality.”

“We are excited to work again with Greenbacker to increase the supply of renewable energy in Michigan,” said Randall Wood, Managing Director of Prism. “Heathlands Solar, which represents Prism’s third utility-scale solar project in the state, will provide clean, reliable energy, as well as long-term economic development.” 

Located in Manistee County, Heathlands has entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with an investment-grade offtaker. The project is expected to begin construction early next year and reach commercial operations in the fourth quarter of 2022.

With the acquisition of this project, Greenbacker will own approximately 2.18 GW of generating capacity (including assets that are to be constructed), comprising 1.82 GW of utility-scale and distributed solar facilities, 330.1 MW of wind facilities, 16.0 MW of battery storage, and 12.0 MW of biomass facilities.

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