Construction has begun on a 345-MW (DC) Ventress solar farm project in Louisiana. The project owner and operator, Lightsource bp, recently secured a $533 million multi-project financing package, to fund the construction of this solar facility. This $533 million multi-project debt covers 480-MW of solar schemes proposed by the company, which also includes the 135-MW Conway Solar project in Arkansas.
The Ventress solar farm project is being developed on a 2,732 acre-site at 13330 Ventress Road in Pointe Coupee Parish, the solar project is intended to become the largest in Louisiana. A partnership was also formed between Lightsource bp, eBay and McDonald, which ensures that the energy produced is supplied to eBay and the McDonald’s Corporation under long-term power purchase agreements. According to Emma Cox, McDonald’s Global Renewable Energy Lead, this unique partnership demonstrates how large brands can work together to bring meaningful impact to the local level.
Over the lifespan of the Ventress solar farm project, the Pointe Coupee Parish will receive a $30 million dollar boost and the project will also give extra financial support to schools, fire departments, libraries and health services, without any need for tax increments on the citizens. In addition, the solar park project will also serve in mitigating about 450,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually, which is equivalent to the carbon emissions produced by 99,000 fuel burning cars per year. Based on a study by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, this solar project will have an indirect economic impact of more than $200 million on the area.
Ventress solar farm brings 400 construction jobs
Other companies involved in developing the Ventress solar farm project include LPL Solar, serving as the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor, and Ampirical solutions, as the EPC contractor for the project’s substation and the switchyard. It’s also expected to create up to 400 construction jobs opportunities for mostly local workers, with full operations starting by late 2023.
The CEO of the Americas, Lightsource bp Kevin Smith, mentioned that the company was looking forward to the Ventress solar farm project, bringing several economic benefits to Pointe Coupee Parish. He said the project will also help with developing long-term community partnerships.