PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Recurrent Energy, LLC has signed an agreement to sell its Firefly Energy solar project in Pittsylvania County, which has a capacity of 150 MWac, to Appalachian Power.

Recurrent Energy says the Firefly project will not only be Appalachian Power’s largest solar energy acquisition to date, but it will also help Appalachian Power meet its clean energy requirements under the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA).

According to a statement shared by WFXR News on Wednesday, Jan. 5, the Firefly Energy solar project will be developed and constructed by Recurrent Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc., under a Build Transfer Agreement (BTA). Then, after the construction is completed, Appalachian Power will be the long-term owner of the project.

Pending local and state permits and other regulatory approvals, construction of the project is reportedly expected to start in early 2023 and reach commercial operation in 2024.

Recurrent Energy says it received approval on its Siting Agreement for the Firefly project — which provides $2.25 million in upfront payments to Pittsylvania County and long-term revenue for public services over the project’s lifetime — from the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors in December 2021.  

“We appreciate Recurrent working with the County to strike a balance that allows solar development to happen in a way that minimizes visual impact and positively impacts our community,” said Emily Ragsdale, Community Development Director for Pittsylvania County.

“The 150 MWac Firefly project in Virginia expands our growing footprint across the eastern United States, delivering turnkey projects for utilities and other investors,” Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar, said. “We are pleased to have been selected through a competitive process and to be a part of Appalachian Power’s major solar energy expansion. We look forward to advancing this project through development and construction, and delivering a renewable solar energy project to Appalachian Power that will help them serve their Virginia customers.”

Officials say the VCEA was passed in 2020 by the Virginia General Assembly, aiming to end carbon dioxide emissions from the Commonwealth’s utility industry.

Appalachian Power reportedly plans to meet its VCEA targets primarily through future investments in solar, wind, energy storage, and energy efficiency measures.

“This will be our largest solar project yet in our journey to deliver clean, reliable power to our customers,” said Chris Beam, Appalachian Power president and chief operating officer. “We are eager to work with Recurrent and for the significant economic benefits construction will have on the surrounding community.”