After first establishing a relationship in 2022, CleanCapital and Renewable IPP (RIPP),an Alaska-based solar developer, partnered to deliver more solar energy to Alaskans. CleanCapital funded the development and construction of the project and will serve as the long-term owner-operator; the project was also supported by a loan from the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA). While oil and natural gas are central to Alaska’s economy and remain Alaska’s primary energy sources, residents and state leaders alike recognize the need to diversify the state’s energy generation.
On August 29, 2023, CleanCapital, RIPP, Matanuska Electric Association (MEA), and Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome the finished 8.5 MW solar farm—the largest ever built in the state. After sourcing a local workforce , the RIPP team designed and developed the solar farm with the surrounding elements and climate in mind. Unique features include raising panels by 3 additional feet to accommodate snowfall; utilizing bifacial panels to harvest reflected light, and a implementing a racking system specially designed for snow clearing. Matanuska Electric Association (MEA) will purchase cost-competitive power from the project to benefit its members. The Houston solar project will help lead the way to a new energy mix within the state while providing lower-cost energy to the local community of Matanuska-Susitna Valley.
“Since its inception, CleanCapital has been driven by a mission to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. I cannot imagine a better illustration of the importance of that mission than bringing solar to an oil and gas-centric state where the impacts of climate change are so vividly felt,” stated Thomas Byrne, CEO at CleanCapital. “This project demonstrates the viability and economic rationale for adopting solar in Alaska, and we are proud to have played a role in building such a historic project.”