Wells Fargo Invests $100 million in nine Strata solar projects in North Carolina

By Brian Matthay
June 6th, 2014

Dear Forum readers,

Samantha Buechner Headshot 150 wide

Samantha Buechner

Please welcome our newest guest blogger, Samantha Buechner. In her role as Environmental Finance analyst, Samantha is focused on growing Wells Fargo’s Solar investment portfolio. (BM)

We recently invested $100MM in nine utility-scale solar projects in North Carolina developed and built by Strata Solar, a company that has installed over 300 megawatts primarily in the Southeast.  The projects produce enough electricity to power 5,000 homes and displace 28,000 metric tons of CO2 annually—that’s equivalent to the CO2 emissions from burning 30MM pounds of coal*. North Carolina utility Progress Energy Carolinas will purchase the power.

We are proud to work with top-tier developers like Strata and we are excited about the opportunity to participate in the rapid expansion of solar in North Carolina and the rest of the Southeast. A 35% state tax credit for renewable energy projects, which these nine-projects utilize, has been an important driver of recent growth. Last year North Carolina governor Pat McCrory designated June as Solar Energy Month, celebrating the jobs created through solar power projects and how solar benefits the environment. The Strata solar projects we recently invested in create local construction jobs and provide additional income to those who lease their land for the projects.

Strata franklin21 640 wide

The Franklin 2 solar farm in Franklin County, North Carolina, generates 4,050 mWh of electricity every year
using only the energy collected from sunlight. Photo courtesy of Strata.

The three largest projects — Bladenboro, Wagstaff and Nash 58 — all exceed six megawatts in capacity and provide a significant boost to the local tax base without requiring additional county expenditures on sewer, roads or any other infrastructure.

Since 2006, we have provided over $4 billion in tax equity and construction financing for renewable energy projects in 28 states, including over $1.3 billion for more than 300 solar projects. Renewable project finance is part of the comprehensive goal we announced in 2012 to deploy an additional $30 billion in financing by 2020 to build a “greener” economy, including loans and investments for clean technology and environmental innovation and projects such as “green” buildings, renewable energy projects and “green” businesses.

* http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html#results

Tags:   climate   energy   grant   innovation   solar   Strata   
Brian Matthay

Brian Matthay

Brian Matthay is a Senior Vice President in Wells Fargo's Environmental Finance Group where his primary focus is originating, structuring and negotiating solar tax equity investments. He also works closely with multiple business units to develop new renewable energy and energy efficiency financing products and advance the bank’s commitment to other environmental finance opportunities. Outside of Wells Fargo, he helps manage Imagine H2O, a non-profit that empowers entrepreneurs to solve the world’s water challenges.

Read More Posts by Brian e

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Your questions and comments really matter to us! We're glad you want to join the conversation and connect with other readers. All we ask is that you keep some simple guidelines in mind:

  • Stay on-topic. Only comments that are related to the subject of the blog entry will be posted.
  • Be respectful. It's okay if you disagree with a post or comment, but please, no personal attacks or offensive language.
  • Maintain your privacy and confidentiality. Please do not provide any of your specific account details or other personal information! If you have immediate service needs, please contact your bank representative or Customer Service.
  • Wells Fargo team members: In the interest of full disclosure, if you are a current employee of or are associated with Wells Fargo, please make note of your affiliation.