Company raises over $500M to build clean power plants for communities that can’t afford rooftop solar: ‘One of the … – The Cool Down

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In a major win for affordable clean energy access, solar developer Nexamp has raised an impressive $520 million to build community solar projects across the United States.

This funding is “one of the largest capital raises to date for this growing sector,” according to Canary Media.

Community solar allows renters, small businesses, and other organizations to benefit from solar energy even if they can’t install panels on their own property. Participants pay a monthly fee to subscribe to a local solar farm and then receive credits on their utility bills for the clean power generated. Those credits are typically larger than the subscription fee — meaning savings for subscribers.

This innovative model is a game-changer for millions of Americans. Community solar democratizes access to cheaper, healthier energy by bringing solar to the roughly 80% of Americans who aren’t candidates for rooftop panels. The Biden administration has set an ambitious goal of enabling 5 million households to sign up for community solar by 2025.

With the $520 million injection, Nexamp plans to develop gigawatts worth of community solar capacity across 19 states. The installations, which are usually around 5 megawatts in size, will plug into the local power grid right in the neighborhoods they serve.

By tapping into solar power close to home, communities can displace polluting power plants that dirty the air and overheat the planet. Some of Nexamp’s projects will even add battery storage so solar energy can be deployed during peak evening hours, reducing the need for dirty gas-spewing “peaker” plants.

“Raising capital is never easy, especially in a high-interest-rate environment, but we’ve noticed investors are still encouraged by the energy transition,” Nexamp CEO Zaid Ashai said. “Large insurance companies like Manulife only write big checks and can finally play in the community solar market because it’s achieved the proper scale.”

The community solar market is primed for explosive growth. Wood Mackenzie analysts project the sector will nearly double in size by 2028. With funding rounds such as Nexamp’s paving the way, a cleaner, more affordable energy future is on the horizon for millions.

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