Project Amp to put 733 MWs of PV on warehouse rooftops

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Project Amp to put 733 MWs of PV on warehouse rooftopsProject Amp might sound like the name of a band’s attempt to turn the amp up to 11, but it’s the newly minted name of an ambitious project to put a total of 733 megawatts of photovoltaics on warehouse rooftops across 28 states in the U.S. That’s roughly enough to power 100,000 U.S. homes. It’s an ambitious project that won a $1.4 billion conditional loan guarantee commitment from the Department of Energy on June 22.

The privately financed, four-year project is being developed by a consortium of companies: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, NRG Energy and Prologis.

The arrays will be built on Prologis warehouses and industrial buildings. The power produced will be sold to local utilities through NRG Energy, and Merrill Lynch will provide project financing.

“The success of this project was contingent on getting the loan guarantee commitment,” said NRG spokesperson Lori Neuman. The government’s $1.4 billion conditional loan guarantee is providing the companies with additional financial leverage, allowing for the project total to reach about $2.6 billion.

The first projects will consist of 15 megawatts of solar arrays placed on multiple warehouse rooftops in Southern California, Neuman said. NRG is the lead investor in the first phase. The power produced by the systems will be sold to a local utility under signed and executed power-purchase agreements.

The companies are now finalizing financing documentation for the distributed solar project and preparing to begin the first phase of installation, according to a press release.

NRG has been making a lot of investments in renewable energy, including distributed generation projects like this one.

“This project is an extension of NRG’s growth in the grid-connected solar space,” Neuman said. “We’re already constructing 12 distributed solar projects at schools in Arizona, and we’re continuing to seek new opportunities to develop commercial and industrial rooftop solar projects.”

In all, NRG has about 500 megawatts of mostly utility scale solar projects under construction, according to Neuman: 1,000 megawatts in advanced development and a total development pipeline of more than 2,000 megawatts.

“By the end of the year, we expect to have more than 900 megawatts of mostly utility-scale solar projects under construction,” she said.

Image courtesy of the DOE.