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Solar Developer Submits Site Plans In Pender County

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Jan 29, 2019
California-based Cypress Creek Renewables has submitted site plans for a solar farm project in Pender County.

The development, planned for more than 50 acres at 455 Church St. in Willard, is scheduled to go before the county’s Technical Review Committee on Feb. 6, according to officials with Pender County’s planning department. A site development application and plans were recently submitted to the county this month.

Officials said Tuesday that project staff has not received any permits for the Willard development. 

In late March, officials with Cypress Creek Renewables said it was looking at developing two solar projects in Pender County, one of them being the Willard solar project.

A site application and plans for the second project eyed for the county, the Crooked Run solar project, were submitted in the fall. The proposed solar farm development is an even larger project estimated at about 600 acres for the solar farm, according to county documents. Site plans show the total land area to be nearly 1,050 acres.

For that project, county staff are still awaiting permits before issuing a zoning approval for the development to begin construction, planning officials said Tuesday. Site plan revisions were submitted Jan. 25 and are still being reviewed, officials added.

Officials with Cypress Creek Renewables estimated in March that the Willard solar project will contribute more than $280,000 to the tax base of Pender County and the Crooked Run project will contribute more than $3.5 million over the project’s 40-year lifetime.

Cypress Creek Renewables develops, builds and operates solar projects across the United States. The company has projects and a corporate presence in North Carolina, with offices in Durham. 

Cypress Creek officials did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday on plans for the Pender County projects this year, or if they were related in any way to a recent solar acquisition announcement by Cubico Sustainable Investments, a London-based renewable energy investor.

Five Cypress Creek solar projects totaling 580 megawatts were recently acquired by Cubico, according to a Jan. 23 news release by the London company. The acquisition included solar projects located in North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas, and marked its entry into the United States market.

One project has closed in South Carolina. The company did not release additional details about the four remaining projects, but said it will invest up to $165 million of equity to construct all the projects with plans for the developments to be operational by the end of 2020.
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