Savion Solar and Toyota have signed a 100 MW solar PV virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for a brownfield project in Kentucky, US. The project’s anticipated start of construction is in the latter part of 2023, and it will be ready for commercial operation by 2024. The project, developed by Savion and a local solar developer named Edelen Renewables that specialises in brownfield solar projects, will turn an old coal mine in Martin County, close to the border between the states of Kentucky and West Virginia, into a solar PV facility.

As the US decarbonises its energy plants and closes the remaining coal plants, former coal sites will offer an opportunity for developers to build solar projects on brownfield sites, for which the US Treasury Department recently released guidance on the bonuses included in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for coal community projects. The Kentucky-based developer has also recently been involved in a 500 MW US community solar portfolio that will be financed by power generation equipment supplier Aggreko.

In May 2023, Toyota Tsusho, an affiliate of Toyota completed the acquisition of an 85 percent stake in SoftBank Group’s renewables arm SB Energy. SB Energy has been rebranded as Terras Energy and has become a subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho. The remaining 15 per cent of the company is owned by SoftBank.