sPower announced that they recently achieved commercial operation on Pleinmont Solar I, a 75-megawatt solar project in Spotsylvania, Virginia. The project, completed in late September, is part of a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Microsoft Corp. for 300-megawatts of solar energy. Pleinmont Solar II, 225-megawatts, will reach commercial operation in the summer of 2021. Pleinmont Solar I and II are part of the 485-megawatt Spotsylvania Solar Energy Center.
"We are excited to celebrate the commercial operation of the first of several solar projects at Spotsylvania Solar Center," said Ryan Creamer, CEO of sPower. "When considering the hardships presented by COVID-19, we see the completion of Pleinmont Solar I as a huge success, not only for our company and Microsoft but also for the local economy and the industry as a whole. We look forward to the completion of Pleinmont II and continuing to work with Microsoft to meet their goal to be carbon negative by 2030."
Construction on Pleinmont Solar I began in August 2019 and took 13 months to complete. Construction on Pleinmont Solar II has already begun. Collectively, Pleinmont Solar I and II will create more than 700 temporary construction jobs and 20-30 full time employment positions.
"The commercial operation of Pleinmont Solar I is a significant milestone on our journey to have 100 percent renewable energy supply for all our operations, including our datacenters, by 2025 and accrues to our commitment to be carbon negative as a company by 2030. The project will not only support our sustainability goals, but also provide new employment opportunities through the site's construction and ongoing operations," said Adrian Anderson, Principal Program Manager, Datacenter Energy & Sustainability, Microsoft.
Pleinmont Solar I reached commercial operation just months after Virginia passed the Clean Economy Act, making it the first southern state with a 100 percent clean energy standard. Pleinmont Solar I and II will produce approximately 715,000 MWh of solar energy each year, offsetting more than 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The 300-megawatt project supports Virginia's commitment to fighting climate change.