Virginia DOT to seek private investment in solar project

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Virginia DOT to seek private investment in solar project

The Virginia Office of PPP (VAP3), USA, has plans to develop and run a P3-driven solar energy system, using Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) property and facilities.

The solar energy development project presents an opportunity for VDOT to optimize the use of state-owned property, raise additional funds and become more environmentally responsible. Potential land lease collections, electricity savings and/or revenue sharing provisions are possible sources of value that can stem from the project.

Solar energy systems can be placed on a variety of sites and thus, the technical feasibility is driven in the most part by the characteristics of the site itself. VDOT sites could include: rooftop solar systems; ground mounted solar systems on vacant land or underutilized space; solar canopies over park and ride lots; solar sound barrier walls; and/or any combination thereof.

Four possible business models are under consideration:

  • VDOT buys solar energy produced through a third-party power purchasing agreement (PPA)
  • VDOT collects lease revenue through a land lease agreement
  • VDOT acquires renewable energy certificates (REC), which it would keep or sell to retail power suppliers, creating incentives for reaching established solar energy goals
  • VDOT owns and runs the solar energy facility

The High-Level Screening Report was completed by VAP3 and accepted by VDOT on July 18, 2014. VAP3 issued a request for information (RfI) on January 15, 2015 and responses were due by March 13, 2015.

On 15 May 2015 VAP3 recommended the project be advanced to the project development phase. During this phase, VAP3, in coordination with VDOT and the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME), will further refine the project scope, structure and procurement with the goal of accelerating project delivery and maximizing public benefits.

For further reference, consult VAP3's Detail-Level Screening Report for Solar Energy Development:

http://www.p3virginia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Solar_Detail-Level-Project-Screening-Report_FINAL_ALL-CONTENTS_COM-SIGNED_6.1.2015.pdf

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