Expected to be operational next year, the power generated from the solar project will be sold to Tennessee Value Authority under a long-term PPA


The solar project is expected to become operational in the third quarter of 2021. (Credit: Pixabay/Sebastian Ganso.)

Danish energy giant Ørsted has completed the acquisition of the 294MWdc/227MWac Muscle Shoals Solar project from Longroad Energy, located in Colbert County, Alabama.

The solar project is expected to become operational in the third quarter of next year and the construction will be managed by Longroad.

During the construction phase of the Muscle Shoals Solar project, about 300 jobs could be created along with generation of more than $1m in sales and use tax revenue to the county.

During the first 20 years of its operation, the solar project is also expected to generate more than $15m in property taxes.

Ørsted onshore, senior vice president and chief financial officer Vishal Kapadia said: “The acquisition of Muscle Shoals continues the expansion of our solar portfolio and further diversifies the geographic footprint of our asset base by establishing a foothold in the rapidly growing Southeast solar market.

“Once complete, Muscle Shoals will deliver high-quality contracted revenues that will provide Ørsted an attractive incremental source of stable earnings.”

Muscle Shoals is the second solar project for Ørsted in US

When operational, the clean energy generated from the solar project will be sold under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) to the Tennessee Value Authority (TVA).

Longroad Energy chief investment officer Charles Spiliotis said: “Longroad is pleased with the results of our development and financing efforts.

“Closing renewable energy projects in the face of the global pandemic is a testament to the quality of the project, our team’s capabilities in development and financing, and our track record of delivering high quality, competitive investments.”

While the solar panels for the Muscle Shoals Solar project will be supplied by First Solar, the inverter technology will be supplied by Power Electronics and solar trackers will be supplied by NEXTracker. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract has been given to Swinerton Renewable Energy.

It is the second solar project acquired by Ørsted in the US, following a decision last November to begin construction on the Permian Energy Center solar plus storage project in Texas.

With the acquisition of Muscle Shoals, the Danish energy giant will have two solar projects totalling 647MW in generating capacity under construction across the US along with 40MW of energy storage capacity.