Summit Ridge Energy has raised $175 Million to fund its development of community solar energy and energy storage projects.
Apollo, an alternative asset manager that manages $513 billion in assets, will provide the funds. Summit Ridge plans on using the funds to expand its geographical footprint.
“Summit Ridge is on a strong trajectory and we are excited to welcome Apollo as a new partner,” Summit Ridge Energy CEO Steve Raeder said. “Apollo’s long track record of sustainable investing, coupled with its operational expertise and significant resources, are an excellent match for Summit Ridge’s fast-paced growth and leading position in the clean energy economy.”
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Summit Ridge launched in 2017 and has created two joint ventures that total over $1B in permanent project capital. The company has increased its portfolio of solar-related projects in operation or under construction by more than 300 MW since then.
Summit Ridge plans to have more than 500 MW solar power and 100 MWh of batteries online by 2023. This will allow Summit Ridge to provide energy savings for approximately 175,000 residential customers and commercial customers.
Summit Ridge was the first to develop a rooftop solar community in the United States last year.
The 9.2 MW array is located on the roof at a Maryland commercial warehouse.
The project is expected provide monthly energy savings for approximately 1,300 residential subscribers and small commercial subscribers in Maryland.
Summit Ridge Energy’s Maryland community solar portfolio has grown to over 75 MW with almost one-third of the projects serving low-to moderate income customers.
Last October, the Biden administration set a target of powering 5 million American homes with community solar projects by 2025 — an ambition that would require 700% growth of current capacity.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that there were 3,253 MW-AC of community solar capacity installed in the U.S. by 2020. That’s enough to power 600,000. Since 2010, the cumulative installed capacity of community-solar has doubled on an average year-over.
“Community solar is one of the most powerful tools we have to provide affordable solar energy to all American households, regardless of whether they own a home or have a roof suitable for solar panels,” Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement. “Achieving these ambitious targets will lead to meaningful energy cost savings, create jobs in these communities, and make our clean energy transition more equitable.”
Community solar enabling legislation exists in 21 states and the District of Columbia, either through state-required programs or authorization of pilot programs, according to NREL.
Currently, 72% cumulative community solar power is concentrated in four states: Minnesota Florida Massachusetts New York.
Residents without solar panels on their roofs can benefit from community solar projects, which improve access to solar energy for low-income or disadvantaged residents. Subscribers to community solar projects often enjoy guaranteed cost savings on their energy bills.
The Biden administration believes that reaching its community solar target can result in $1 billion of energy savings.