Rowan-Cabarrus, ReNew Petra partner for solar plant

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 24, 2019

SALISBURY — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, the RCCC Foundation, and ReNew Petra have partnered for construction of a 1-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant in Rowan County, the first of its kind for the school and community.

The project will be completed in February.

Contributing to the college’s mission to lead the education and local community in sustainability practices, the solar farm will raise about $40,000 annually in revenue, which will in turn further support the mission of the foundation. The project will also allow Rowan-Cabarrus students the chance to take part in on-site demonstrations, meet with solar executives and monitor real-time energy generation.

“This is more than a sustainable photovoltaic system,” said RCCC President Carol Spalding. “Once connected, the funds raised from the energy produced will create a consistent income stream for our foundation that will provide funding to support many educational initiatives for years to come. We truly appreciate the work ReNew Petra has done to help us make this unique partnership a reality.”

To bring the project to fruition, a public-private partnership was made possible by a significant donation from local philanthropists Fred and Alice Stanback and ReNew Petra’s willingness to buy down the cost of the project using tax equity. The partnership will aid in developing cost-efficient and cleaner energy that the college hopes other institutions can replicate.

ReNew Petra will provide engineering, procurement and construction services, as well as operations and maintenance, after commissioning the solar panels. After completion, ReNew Petra will initially own the plant, giving power-generation revenues and ground-lease payments to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to fund programs such as student scholarships and professional development.

“We are proud to partner with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and its foundation on the school’s first public-private partnership,” said Wayne Marshall, managing director at ReNew Petra. “This project perfectly aligns with our company’s values to focus on more of the benefits of renewable energy such as low-cost power, while coupling with the college’s commitment to provide a world-class education experience to positively impact communities.”

Submitted photo Construction has begun on the solar plant that will benefit Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation. Completion is expected in February.