In partnership with Hensel Phelps Construction Co., National Solar signed a purchase order with SolarWorld, a vertically integrated U.S. solar manufacturer for more than 35 years, following lengthy review that included a tour of SolarWorld’s manufacturing facility in Oregon. National Solar chose SolarWorld based on the high quality of its products and its corporate culture focused on sustainability and community partnerships.
“We’re very excited about this partnership, which is a great cultural fit between our companies,” said James Scrivener, CEO of National Solar, based in Melbourne, Fla. “We are committed to helping make the United States the world leader in renewable energy, and this partnership gives us the building blocks to produce clean energy domestically. Best of all, we will be using U.S. technology that will create thousands of jobs for Americans and help ensure U.S. energy security and independence.”
Harnessing the unlimited energy source that gives the Sunshine State it nickname, the company eventually will generate 400 MW of power at its Gadsden County facility, 200 MW in Hardee County and 100 MW in Liberty County. Combined, the projects are an integral part of an investment and deployment paradigm shift that is taking place as solar becomes an essential and economical part of the nation’s energy mix.
“SolarWorld looks forward to being a partner in this far-reaching and visionary project,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas, the company’s commercial unit. “National Solar Power is a recognized innovator, and its projects in Florida are truly exciting developments in the renewable-energy supply for our nation.”
The solar farms will be built out in segments of 20 MW on about 200 acres each. The first 20 MW segment alone will utilize more than 100,000 solar panels, and the entire project will require millions of SolarWorld panels. National Solar is on track to begin construction of the first farm, in Hardee County, later this year. Hensel Phelps, a world leader in construction that remodeled the Pentagon after the 9-11 attacks in 2001, will design, build and operate the solar farm projects for National Solar.
SolarWorld develops all phases of the manufacturing value chain, from raw materials through turn-key solar systems of all sizes. The group’s largest production facilities are located in Hillsboro, Ore., and Freiberg, Germany. SolarWorld employs about 3,300 people worldwide, more than one-third of them in the U.S.
As part of the effort to fund its renewable-energy projects, such as the solar projects in Gadsden, Hardee and Liberty counties, National Solar recently announced the creation of Green Infrastructure Partners LLC. Green Infrastructure offers a platform for institutions and accredited investors to participate in the inevitable transition to a renewable energy infrastructure in the United States, while enjoying competitive risk-adjusted returns on their capital. Green Infrastructure is externally managed and advised by Solar Capital Management LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Solar Power Partners LLC.
National Solar has executed power supply agreements for more than 3 gigawatts of solar farms in the U.S. Southeast. National Solar anticipates much of the power produced by its solar farm projects, particularly energy production during the summer months, will be used to shave peak requirements for power generated from fuels such as coal or gas.
A market leader in utility-scale solar power solutions, National Solar is uniquely positioned within the marketplace to offer cost-effective solar power solutions on the utility scale. With more than 30 years of industry experience, National Solar’s founders have been involved in the solar and utility energy marketplace and have witnessed renewable energy gaining in popularity and affordability.