rPlus Energies, Greenbacker and Sundt Break Ground for Graphite Solar in Carbon County


Pictured (left to right): Tom Dodson, Sundt Renewables President; Cliff Smith, rPlus Energies COO; Christian Gardner, rPlus Energies Chairman and Gardner Company President and CEO; Clint Sundt, Sundt Construction President; Carbon County Commissioner Tony Martines; Ben Tillar, Greenbacker Vice President of Investment; Luigi Resta, rPlus Energies President; and Carbon County Commissioner Larry Jensen.

New Solar Plant to Power Facebook’s Eagle Mountain Data Center

Press Release

rPlus Energies, a Utah-based developer of modern power plants, recently broke ground on Graphite Solar I, a 104 MWdc/80 MWac utility-scale solar project in Carbon County that will contribute renewable power to Facebook’s new data center in Eagle Mountain.

The rPlus Energies team was joined for the groundbreaking by project owner Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company and by Sundt Construction, which will serve as the Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) lead for the project.

The project, Graphite Solar I, has a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) in place with the investment-grade utility PacifiCorp on behalf of Facebook’s data center in Eagle Mountain. The contract was developed under Rocky Mountain Power’s Schedule 34 green energy tariff, which allows large customers to purchase renewable energy generated on their behalf.

The project supports Facebook’s goal of 100% renewable energy for its operations and is expected to reach commercial operations (“COD”) in Q4 2021.

“Large projects like Graphite will increasingly be necessary to meet the electricity needs of the technology economy and provide carbon neutral alternatives to traditional power sources,” said Charles Wheeler, CEO of Greenbacker.

The project is being built in Wellington. Carbon County has a long history in energy generation with several coal mines and a recently retired coal plant. With this project, the community diversifies its contributions to the local energy infrastructure and catalyzes the region’s social and economic development.

“rPlus Energies is proud to work with Carbon County as it continues its legacy in energy development with Graphite Solar capturing the benefits of solar power in the region for years to come,” said Luigi Resta, CEO of rPlus Energies. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Carbon County community through project construction with a focus on energizing the economy and local hiring.”

“It has been great to see the Graphite Solar I project bringing the community together,” said Carbon County Commissioner Tony Martines during the groundbreaking, ”With several local companies playing a large part in this project, the project has provided new job opportunities and has allowed our community to see energy in a new light.”

Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company LLC (“GREC”) purchased the pre-operational solar project from rPlus Energies LLC in December 2020 and contracted rPlus to continue to develop the project through construction. rPlus Energies has engaged Utah’s Sundt Renewables and Sundt Construction to support the construction of the project, which will install more than 260,000 solar panels.

About rPlus Energies

rPlus Energies develops modern power plants to contribute to the rebuilding of America’s energy infrastructure. Through partnership with the private sector, municipalities and utilities, rPlus develops utility-scale power plants to access a region’s best mix of renewable resources to enable a more dispatchable and reliable power supply. rPlus Energies currently has 35 projects in 18 states in active development including solar, wind, pumped-hydro and solar plus battery. rPlus Energies is a subsidiary of The Gardner Companies, family owned and operated since 1976, which is dedicated to building better communities through thoughtful, sustainable practices in developing and managing real estate, renewable energy and technology, and providing results-oriented philanthropy. Learn more at www.rplusenergies.com

About Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company

Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company LLC is a publicly reporting, non-traded limited liability energy company that acquires and manages income-generating renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, and other energy-related businesses. The projects in which we invest, such as solar and wind facilities, sell power under long-term contract to high credit worthy counterparties such as utilities, municipalities and corporations. For more information, please visit www.greenbackercapital.com.

About Sundt Construction

Sundt Construction, Inc. (www.sundt.com) is one of the country’s largest and most respected general contractors. The 131-year-old firm specializes in transportation, industrial, building, concrete and renewable power work and is owned entirely by its 2,000+ employees. Sundt is distinguished by its diverse capabilities and experience, unique employee-ownership culture and depth of self-perform expertise in nine major trades. Half of Sundt’s workforce is comprised of skilled craft professionals who, together with the company’s administrative employees, enable Sundt to fulfill its mission to be the most skilled builder in America. Sundt has 11 offices throughout California, Arizona, Texas and Utah and is currently ranked the country’s 52nd largest construction company by ENR, the industry’s principal trade magazine.

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