Greenbacker Capital, a leader in sustainable infrastructure investment, announced this Tuesday it has entered into the floating solar energy development area, after an investment in Noria Energy. Noria is a California-based company with operations in both the US and Latin America.
Firstly, the equity investment from Greenbacker will enable Noria to scale its platform while executing and expanding its existing pipeline of solar projects. The company’s assets include both ground-mounted arrays and solar installations that float atop bodies of water.
At the same time, will give Greenbacker an entrance to an emerging area of renewable energy. Indeed, the floating solar industry in the US has significant potential for growth. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has estimated that installing floating solar on the 24,000+ manmade reservoirs in the US could meet about 10% of the country’s annual electricity needs.
Consequently, after Greenbacker’s investment, Noria will expand in the industry. The company has already engineered, designed, and co-developed the nation’s largest floating solar array; a 4.8-MW installation at the water reclamation facility in Healdsburg.
In addition, floating solar has several advantages. It does not require valuable land area; instead, it uses the surfaces of hydroelectric dam reservoirs, wastewater treatment ponds, or other calm bodies of water. The floating solar assets can also reduce algae growth; and slow evaporation for the bodies of water they are installed upon.
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Furthermore, “floatovoltaic panels” also have a cooling effect from the water beneath, leading to greater and more efficient clean energy generation.
On the other hand, Noria Energy offers behind-the-meter solar energy projects, both on water or land. These projects provide solar power directly to consumers without involvement from a utility. These systems can help customers reduce power bills; capitalize on renewable energy incentives, and meet their clean energy goals; while also offering insulation from grid disruption.
Ben Baker, Managing Director of Greenbacker, said. “The Noria team’s track record and innovation in the space, along with their overall solar development expertise, position them well to continue expanding and contributing to a clean energy future.”
At the same time, Jonathan Wank, CEO of Noria, commented. “Our mission at Noria Energy is to develop projects and solutions that lower barriers to solar adoption. We’re also driving innovation by working with the Department of Energy, municipalities, and commercial/industrial customers on solar projects that can improve water quality.”
Finally, the fund from which Greenbacker invested in Noria was born in 2020. The objective of the funds was to invest in companies focused on sustainable infrastructure development serving high-value markets across the United States.