NEWS: Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and ReNew Petra Near Completion of First Public-Private Partnership to Build Solar Farm Supporting the College’s Foundation
January 21, 2019, Salisbury, N.C. – Together, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation, and ReNew Petra recently announced the construction of a 1.0 megawatt (DC) solar photovoltaic plant in Rowan County, N.C. – the first of its kind for the school and community – which will be completed at the end of this month.
Contributing to the college’s mission and vision to lead the educational and local community in more sustainability practices, the solar farm will raise approximately $40,000 annually in solar-generated revenue, which will in turn further support the mission of the foundation. The project will also allow Rowan-Cabarrus students the opportunity to partake in on-site demonstrations, meet with solar executives, and monitor real-time energy generation.
“This is more than a sustainable photovoltaic system,” said Dr. Carol Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. “Once connected, the funds raised from the energy produced will create a consistent income stream for our foundation that will provide funding to support many educational initiatives for years to come. We truly appreciate the work ReNew Petra has done to help us make this unique partnership a reality.”
To bring the project to fruition, a public-private partnership was made possible by a significant donation from local philanthropists Fred and Alice Stanback; ReNew Petra’s willingness to buy down the cost of the project using tax equity; and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s dedication to sustainability. This innovative partnership model will aid in developing cost-efficient and cleaner energy that the college hopes other institutions can replicate.
ReNew Petra will provide engineering, procurement, and construction services, as well as operations and maintenance, after commissioning the solar panels. After completion, ReNew Petra will initially own the asset, giving power-generation revenues and ground-lease payments to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to fund important programs such as student scholarships and professional development.
“We are proud to partner with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and its foundation on the school’s first public-private partnership,” said Wayne Marshall, managing director at ReNew Petra. “This project perfectly aligns with our company’s values to focus on more of the benefits of renewable energy such as low-cost power, while coupling with the college’s commitment to provide a world-class education experience to positively impact communities.”
About Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
Opening its doors in 1963, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is one of 58 colleges in the state-supported North Carolina Community College System. Rowan-Cabarrus is a comprehensive, community-focused institution of higher learning, serving the residents of Rowan and Cabarrus counties at multiple campus locations and through on-line programs. Rowan-Cabarrus offers fully-accredited associate degree programs in more than 30 areas of study, including arts and sciences, business, information technology, health and public services, engineering technologies, and biotechnology, as well as dozens of diplomas and certifications. Rowan-Cabarrus provides more than 2,000 course offerings, serving a yearly overall enrollment of more than 20,000 students. In addition, Rowan-Cabarrus provides the education and job-training programs needed to meet many of the workforce demands of the North Carolina Research Campus being developed in Kannapolis.
About ReNew Petra
ReNew Petra is a vertically-integrated, renewable energy investment and licensed general contracting construction company involved in the engineering and construction of solar, landfill gas, and biomass facilities across the country. ReNew Petra also has the technical expertise to provide their own internal operations, maintenance, and asset management, as well as provide these services to institutional capital partners. For additional information, please visit thinkrenew.com.