U.S. developer of solar PV and storage projects, 8minute Solar Energy (8minute), announced the addition of 3 GW in large-scale solar projects to its development pipeline this month. The pipeline now totals 18 GW.
The company also announced additional corporate-level funding to develop the pipeline, which will be converted to the company’s new solar-plus-storage power plant design.
To support its 18 GW development pipeline, 8minute raised capital from partners J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners. The University of California (UC) Office of the Chief Investment Officer of the Regents has partnered as an investor as well.
8minute said that it was the first developer to beat the cost of fossil fuels with solar PV and late last year received approval for the 400-MW Eland Solar & Storage Center, the lowest-cost solar and energy storage project in the country. The project will have an energy storage capacity of 1200-MWh and demonstrates that solar + storage can replace dispatchable fossil fuel generation at a price of under 4 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) fixed for 25 years.
8minute plans to replicate this model across its pipeline to provide a reliable alternative for baseload power plants.
“While the financial markets, especially tax equity, face uncertainty right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 8minute as a company is financially very well positioned. Given our strong cash position and balance sheet, as well as the strength of our financial partners, we’re fortunate to take the long-view and continue our growth trajectory to deliver clean, reliable power—day and night—for less than the cost of fossil fuels,” said Dr. Tom Buttgenbach, President and CEO of 8minute.
“As we develop more projects with large storage capacity, we will continue to partner with local communities, evaluate the environmental implications of our work and prioritize responsible business practices across all areas of our pipeline,” added Buttgenbach. “This strategic investment with our joint venture partners is an important part of this vision that extends beyond the funding—it’s an opportunity to align with world-class research labs and technology centers at the forefront of energy innovation.”