Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE) has started construction on its Oak Trail Solar facility near Moyock, N.C. LRE will sell the 100 MW of renewable energy generated at Oak Trail Solar to Verizon Communications under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA).
“Verizon is committed to protecting our planet by supporting the production of renewable energy and the transition to a greener U.S. energy grid,” says James Gowen, Verizon’s chief sustainability officer and senior vice president of global supply chain. “The renewable energy produced by the Oak Trail Solar project will help us achieve net zero emissions in our operations by 2035.”
Blue Ridge Power serves as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor. Oak Trail Solar will utilize First Solar photovoltaic solar modules. As part of its commitment to land stewardship, LRE plans to utilize 30% of the project acreage to establish a pollinator habitat, planting native vegetation and wildflowers for screening to provide ecological benefits to the area.
“The Oak Trail Solar project represents meaningful growth with a low impact for Currituck County,” states Josh Bass, president of the Currituck Chamber of Commerce. “In addition to helping North Carolina achieve its clean energy goals, this project will have a significant and positive economic impact to our county and schools without stressing the county’s infrastructure. We’re proud and excited to have Oak Trail Solar as part of our community.”
“Oak Trail Solar marks another milestone in the growth of LRE’s renewable energy portfolio and is an example of how we manage our projects in alignment with our core values of protecting and respecting the environment and communities in which we operate,” comments Sam Mangrum, SVP of project execution at LRE. “LRE is focused on creating enduring value with local communities by building and maintaining strong, long-term relationships. We look forward to bringing the project online next year and supporting Verizon’s efforts to meet its net zero operational goal.”
The project is expected to reach commercial operation by mid-2023.