The solar plant is a part of a power purchase agreement with Microsoft for 300MW of solar energy

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Construction on Pleinmont Solar II has already begun. (Credit: Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay)

Renewable energy producer sPower has announced the start of commercial operations at the 75MW Pleinmont Solar I facility in Spotsylvania, Virginia, US.

Completed in late September, the facility is a part of a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Microsoft for 300MW of solar energy.

Construction on Pleinmont Solar I had begun in August last year and it took 13 months for its completion.

Pleinmont Solar II is a 225MW project that is expected to reach its commercial operations in the summer of 2021.

Both Pleinmont Solar I and II are part of the 485MW Spotsylvania Solar Energy Center, which is said to be the  fifth-largest solar farm in US.

sPower CEO Ryan Creamer said: “We are excited to celebrate the commercial operation of the first of several solar projects at Spotsylvania Solar Center.

“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.”

According to the company, construction on Pleinmont Solar II has already begun.

More than 700 construction jobs are expected to be created during the construction of Pleinmont Solar I and II. There will also be a creation of about 20-30 full time employment positions by both the projects.

Pleinmont Solar I and II are estimated to produce about 715,000 MWh of solar energy every year. In addition, they will also contribute to a reduction of emissions of 500,000 metric tons of CO2 annually.

sPower is owned by a joint venture partnership between The AES Corporation and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), one of Canada’s largest and most diversified institutional investment managers.

The company owns and operates a wind, solar, and storage portfolio of nearly 2GW, with 15GW megawatts of projects under development.