Beaver County Solar Facility to Provide Utility Assistance

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Four Twelve Renewables recently unveiled its new utility-scale solar facility in Greene Township in Pennsylvania. 

The facility, known as BE Pine, is made up of approximately 98,000 bifacial solar panels projected to generate about 66 million kilowatt hours of electricity.

Four Twelve Renewables is an energy developer seeking to use clean, abundant natural resources to generate funds to support nonprofit organizations that provide basic needs to households in the areas it operates.

BE Pine, which is the first project in Four Twelve Renewables’ portfolio, is funded by a combination of the local foundation community, public private partnerships and private dollars, a news release states.

The facility is producing clean, renewable energy while creating a sustainable funding source for a local nonprofit organization. Four Twelve Renewables is partnering with Dollar Energy Fund to use the proceeds generated from the project, along with matching funds from Dollar Energy Fund’s utility partners, to provide utility assistance grants to low- and limited-income Pennsylvania residents. These once per year, per household grants will provide basic natural gas, water, wastewater and electric utility service to low- and moderate-income households in southwestern Pennsylvania.

“The concept of capturing power from the sun and using it to establish a funding mechanism to provide community support and utility assistance is extremely viable,” said Paul Atencio, board member of Four Twelve Renewables. “This initiative serves as a great model and can be replicated to benefit communities throughout the commonwealth.”

The proceeds from the Beaver County facility are expected to support and sustain 250,000 low- and limited-income households with more than $75 million in utility assistance over the next 35 years, the release states. This is approximately 30% higher than Dollar Energy Fund’s projections without proceeds from the solar facility.

“As the need for utility assistance continues to grow, we are always looking for innovative ways to meet that challenge,” said Jody Robertson, director of communications for Dollar Energy Fund. “This project will provide tremendous help to our communities, all while utilizing a clean natural resource.”

Funding for the BE Pine project was provided by First National Bank of Pennsylvania. FNB and its equipment finance subsidiary worked with Four Twelve Renewables to develop a creative, solution-driven financing package that went beyond a standard lending agreement.

“At FNB, we invest in projects that create a positive impact in our communities as part of our driving mission to improve the quality of life in the areas we serve,” said Vincent J. Delie Jr., chairman, president and CEO of F.N.B. Corp. and First National Bank. “This solar field project truly is unique for Pennsylvania. In addition to creating jobs and bringing economic relief to thousands in the region, it serves as a model of thoughtful sustainability, both here and nationally.”

Pennsylvania American Water has entered into a 15-year power purchase agreement to support the development of the facility.

“Pennsylvania American Water is pleased to support this solar energy project, which will increase the amount of solar energy generated in Pennsylvania,” said company president Justin Ladner.

Pictured at top: The BE Pine solar facility in Beaver Township.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.