Greenbacker acquires Denver airport solar projects totaling 18.4 MWdc

The company continues to expand its presence in Colorado with a pair of pre-operational solar assets at Denver International Airport

New York, NY, October 4, 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 has purchased two pre-operational solar projects located at Denver International Airport (DEN) from Oak Leaf Energy Partners. The projects, DIA 7 and DIA 8 (12.4 MWdc and 6.0 MWdc, respectively), join several operational solar assets that Greenbacker owns at the airport—including two community solar gardens—adding scale to the company’s national solar operations and increasing its already substantial presence in Colorado.

The acquisition of two additional assets onsite at the airport, one of the busiest in the country, holds special appeal for Greenbacker. Because DIA 7 and DIA 8 are co-located with a number of existing projects in Greenbacker’s renewable energy fleet, operations and management costs will be less than they would be for new assets built on separate sites. The acquisitions also expand Greenbacker’s footprint in a strong solar state.

“We consider it a privilege to be part of a clean energy future for Denver International Airport,” said Charles Wheeler, CEO of GREC. “Our ongoing partnership with Oak Leaf Energy Partners continues to expand access to renewable energy across Colorado, and their extensive solar development experience was a distinct benefit to these projects.”

“We are pleased to continue our strong partnership with both DEN and Greenbacker,” said John Hereford, CEO of Oak Leaf. “These relationships have allowed us to collectively pursue important solar projects that directly address Mayor Hancock’s sustainability objectives for the airport and the City of Denver.” 

“Sustainability is one of the guiding principles in our Vision 100 plan which will help prepare the airport for 100 million passengers in approximately 10 years,” said DEN CEO Phil Washington. “These additional solar projects will help us improve the sustainability of our energy supply while helping us reach our goal of becoming one of the greenest airports in the world.”

Both DIA 7 and DIA 8 have long-term power purchase agreements in place with an investment-grade offtaker—the airport itself. Construction began on DIA 7 in the first quarter of 2021, with the project slated to enter commercial operation in the first quarter of 2022. Construction on DIA 8 is expected to start in the first quarter of 2022, with the project set to reach commercial operation in the third quarter of that year.

With the acquisition of these projects, Greenbacker’s fleet of sustainable infrastructure projects includes approximately 2.18 GW of generating capacity (including assets that are to be constructed), across utility-scale and distributed solar, wind, battery storage, and biomass facilities. Since 2016, Greenbacker’s real assets have generated 3.0 million megawatt-hours of clean energy, abating 2.1 million metric tons of carbon,1 and today these projects support 2,700 green jobs2 (as of June 30, 2021).

1 Carbon abatement is calculated using the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator which uses the AVoided Emissions and geneRation Tool (AVERT) US national weighted average CO2 marginal emission rate to convert reductions of kilowatt-hours into avoided units of carbon dioxide emissions.

2 Green jobs are calculated from the International Renewable Energy Agency‘s measurement that one megawatt of renewable power supports 3.8 jobs.

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