UGE achieves notice to proceed on 548-kilowatt rooftop community solar project on Staten Island

UGE International Ltd, a leader in community and commercial solar, has announced that it has reached the ‘Notice to Proceed’ (NTP) milestone for a 548-kilowatt rooftop solar project on Staten Island, New York. The Notice to Proceed milestone indicates that financing for the project has closed and all necessary permits and interconnection approvals for the project are in place.

UGE’s latest community solar project will be built atop Expressway Plaza, a shopping center on Staten Island. At just over half a megawatt, the project will offset roughly 700 metric tons of CO2 emissions each year and will produce enough electricity to power approximately 140 homes.

Subscribers to the Expressway Plaza community solar project will save a minimum of 10% on their electricity bills. As electricity rates continue to rise across the country, these savings become increasingly meaningful for Americans looking for ways to save money in today’s inflationary environment.

The Expressway Plaza community solar project will join UGE’s Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) program, meaning that at least 30% of the energy generated by the project will be reserved for LMI households. Strengthening renewable energy equity is one of UGE’s guiding goals; the Company’s stated target is for more than 25% of the off-take from its operational portfolio to serve LMI households by 2026.

Expressway Plaza, where the project will be built, is owned by Feldco, an East Coast-focused real estate developer.

“Feldco is a family-owned and operated business committed to sustainable construction and forging long-term relationships with the communities in which we operate,” said Greg Feldman, Partner and Vice President at Feldco. “By becoming a community solar host with UGE, we are advancing those commitments by providing energy cost savings and a source of clean energy to the community surrounding Expressway Plaza.”

Feldco will receive long-term lease payments in exchange for hosting the project. In addition, UGE covered the cost of a needed roof replacement on Expressway Plaza, ensuring the building remains structurally sound for the solar project’s lifetime of at least 22 years.

Ampion is handling subscriber acquisition and ongoing billing and revenue management for the project.

“Ampion is proud to provide community solar subscriptions and savings from the Expressway Plaza project to New York City residents that need them most,” said Ampion CEO Nate Owen. “Ampion will be ensuring that subscribers are serviced properly throughout the lifecycle of the project. The Ampion team has a breadth of experience bringing community solar to underserved communities, and we’re incredibly excited to be partnering with UGE to expand community solar in New York City.”

The project at Expressway Plaza will be the third rooftop community solar project UGE owns and operates on Staten Island, with the first two having reached commercial operation in July 2022. UGE is proud to have contributed to New York City’s recent milestone of 500MW of solar deployed, with Staten Island having the second most solar of the five boroughs.

With this project, UGE has reached NTP on 13.2MW of projects and commercial operation on 1.4MW of projects so far this year. Construction on the Expressway Plaza project is set to begin this spring.

Once operational, the project is estimated to produce an average of USD $89,000 in annual revenue, with a total project life of at least 22 years. The Company currently expects average recurring revenue to carry gross margins at or around 85%. In addition, UGE will receive a grant through New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)’s Clean Energy Communities program, which is designed to help incentivize, among other clean energy priorities, the development of community solar programs and specifically those which serve LMI communities. UGE’s grant is expected to total approximately USD $750,000.