Virginia AEE lauds Microsoft’s investment
in 500 MW Solar Project
Firm paves way for other corporate purchasers in sPower project
RICHMOND, March 22, 2018 – Today, Virginia Advanced Energy Economy (Virginia AEE) hailed the announcement by Microsoft Corp. that it would purchase 315 MW of energy from two new solar energy projects being developed in the Commonwealth. The projects – Pleinmont I and II, which will be developed, owned, and operated by sPower, an AES and AIMCo company – will have a total capacity of 500 MW. Both Microsoft and AES are members of Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), a national business organization, with which Virginia AEE is affiliated.
“This announcement is groundbreaking for advanced energy in Virginia,” said Harrison Godfrey, executive director of the business group Virginia Advanced Energy Economy. “Not only will this investment nearly double the amount of installed solar capacity in the Commonwealth, but with it Microsoft and sPower will also provide a new way for other energy purchasers to buy into, and benefit from, the secure, clean, affordable energy these solar facilities provide.”
In this arrangement, Microsoft serves as an anchor tenant for a project but allows other buyers to procure smaller portions of the output at a competitive price. Such aggregation extends access to advanced energy sources for other buyers, unlocking previously latent demand and creating new markets for advanced energy companies.
Virginia currently has 619 MW of installed solar capacity. Solar, and advanced energy more broadly, has been one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy in Virginia and nationwide. According to the latest Solar Jobs Census, released in February, Virginia has seen 10 percent year-over-year growth in solar industry employment. The advanced energy industry employs 81,000 Virginians, working in energy efficiency, wind, solar, and other technologies and services.
About AEE and Virginia AEE
In Virginia, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) operates as Virginia Advanced Energy Economy (Virginia AEE), a group of businesses that are making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. Virginia AEE seeks to drive the development of advanced energy to boost the state’s economy and competitiveness by working to remove policy barriers, identify market growth opportunities, encourage market-based policies, establish public and private partnerships, and serve as the voice for companies innovating in the advanced energy sector.
Robert Keough, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-875-5872 (C)