Scale acquired 500 megawatts of community solar

The expansion of an earlier deal with Gutami Solar reflects the fact that community solar is increasingly a priority for the company.

Several houses with solar panels in the woods

Photo credit: Chris Wingard / Department of Energy

Scale Microgrids is widening its community solar footprint.

  • The top line: The microgrid company will acquire 500 megawatts of community solar projects from developer Gutami Solar, in an agreement that represents an expansion of an existing 100 MW deal between the two. Gutami will develop the infrastructure, and Scale will acquire, finance, and ultimately own it.
  • The market grounding: While Scale is fundamentally a microgrid development company, it has increasingly branched out into other distributed energy resources, including community solar. The Gutami deal highlights the fact that a company’s expertise in one corner of the distributed energy landscape can translate well into others, especially as demand increases. 
  • The current take: Scale CEO Ryan Goodman considers community solar projects vital as the energy transition unfolds: “As the grid becomes less reliable, these small community-sized distribution grid sites will help bolster the grid and provide more access to clean, cheap electricity by guaranteeing discounts on their utility bills,” he told Latitude Media.

The deal will include community solar projects located in several states across the country, including both California and New York. For Scale, those states are particularly attractive options for siting these new projects because of programs in each state that incentivize building solar and storage together. 

For instance, California is finalizing a community solar program (AB 2316) that would require projects to be paired with at least four hours of storage capacity; Goodman noted that this “innovative” structure is the first of its kind in the United States. New York has separate community solar and battery storage programs.

Gerben Pek, CEO of the Netherlands-based Gutami, said the “fast decision-making processes by local governments combined with clear legal structures and a well-functioning legal system, enables us to accelerate our growth in community solar in the U.S.”

And Goodman said, also in a statement, that “community solar continues to be a priority for Scale for both its inclusivity and ability to provide more options to our microgrid customers.” The company added that the deal means that Scale will have the capacity to power over 80,000 homes via community solar.

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