December 20, 2021
December 20, 2021 terrasmart

This has been a thrilling year for us at Terrasmart. Now united under the new Terrasmart brand, the Gibraltar Renewable Energy Group teams at RBI Solar, SolarBOS, Sunfig, and the former TerraSmart partnered with EPCs and developers throughout the country to deliver high-performing projects and customer successes.

As the year draws to a close, we reflect on our 2021 accomplishments. We have been fortunate to collaborate with incredible partners on over 580 projects in just this year alone. While all of these projects delivered solar wins for asset owners, communities, and businesses, we’d like to highlight some of our award winners.

The following projects bank on our innovative products and reliable solutions to deliver simplified solar for maximum value. And perhaps more importantly, they are founded on partnerships that power progress on a global scale. Like the Turquoise Project part of Apple’s $4.7 billion Green Bond, a behemoth initiative to create 1.2 gigawatts of clean power and power 100% of the company’s data centers. Or the Chub Cay solar and storage microgrid in the Bahamas, the largest of its kind in the island nation, bringing clean energy to offset diesel emissions.

Turquoise Solar
Reno Technology Park, Nevada | 61 MWWinner Best Energy/Industrial Project by ENR Magazine
Winner Best Utility Solar Project of the Year by Solar Builder Magazine (2020)

Turquoise Project, NV. All of Apple’s data centers have been powered by 100 percent renewable energy since 2014.

Turquoise Project, NV. All of Apple’s data centers have been powered by 100 percent renewable energy since 2014.
We are inspired to have contributed to Apple’s massive sustainability goals. As part of the company’s Green Bond initiative, the 60-megawatt, 180-acre Turquoise project supplies clean energy to local communities and Apple’s Nevada data center. The project created 236 clean energy construction jobs and represents a $60 million+ investment in Washoe County.

Multiple partners came together to contribute to Apple’s solar success. Utility-scale developer Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company owns the project, McCarthy Building Companies’ Renewable Energy & Storage group led the construction, and TerraSmart designed, engineered, and delivered the site’s mechanical system.

Located on a hillside with slopes as steep as 30 degrees, the site was covered with rock, above and below the surface, making it a challenge to install panels. The steep topography created a sliding risk for the equipment, prompting the contractor to incorporate TerraSmart’s fixed-tilt racking solution and ground-screw technology developed especially for tough soils.

TerraSmart’s agile machinery, and adjustable racking solution enabled a successful install on basalt cobbles, boulders, and bedrock. Through the collaboration, McCarthy and TerraSmart saved time and costs by minimizing civil works.

“Thanks to the collaborative partnership with TerraSmart, our team could design and engineer a solution for a solar project that had extraordinary terrain challenges,” said Scott Canada, senior vice president of McCarthy’s Renewable Energy Group.

Developer: Greenbacker Capital; Contractors: McCarthy Building Companies, TerraSmart
Mounting: TerraSmart; Inverters: TMEIC; Modules: ET Solar

Chub Cay Microgrid
Chub Cay, Bahamas | 4 MW + 10 MWh storage
Winner Best Solar+Storage Project of the Year by Solar Builder Magazine

The Chub Cay Microgrid project presented a unique blend of island, ocean, and energy resources to support this private resort. TerraSmart partnered with Bahamian EPC Compass Power to execute the largest autonomous microgrid in the Bahamas. The four-megawatt system was paired with a 10-MWH battery storage system to generate 6,785 MWhrs of energy per year, bringing energy independence to Chub Cay’s private resort and marina.

To ensure the system’s reliability, TerraSmart conducted two rounds of geotechnical surveys and testing. Structural calculations determined that its ground screw solution was the only viable option to penetrate the island’s solid limestone.

The system was installed with TerraSmart’s Glide fixed racking system that was reinforced to tolerate hurricane-force gusts up to 210 mph. High-strength steel, a low-tilt form factor, and specialized module frame mounting ensured durability.

TerraSmart shipped everything needed for the installation, including one of its cutting-edge rock drills, testing equipment, a specialized truck, customized tools, and materials.

Despite being the largest solar array in The Bahamas and one of the largest grid-forming systems, Chub Cay renewable microgrid was built and commissioned without delays in eight months. While creating significant climate benefits, this landmark installation will save millions of dollars in fuel for the private resort and its marina.

Developer / Contractor: Compass Solar Systems | Project Management: Asante Energy | Mounting: TerraSmart | Modules: Trina Solar | Inverters: Yaskawa Solectria Solar | Microgrid Controls and Battery Systems: Hitachi ABB

Rockport Maces Pond
Rockport, Maine | 4.2 MW
Winner Utility-Scale Project of The Year by Solar Builder Magazine

TerraSmart delivered the mounting on this agrivoltaic community solar project constructed over a wild blueberry farm. Developed by BlueWave, and owned and operated by Navisun, this dual-use community system delivers clean energy to local subscribers while improving the yield of the wild blueberry crop.

TerraSmart is not new to agrivoltaics. Its adapted ground screw and flexible racking system was a good fit for the rocky and undulating terrain, accommodating the varying 8 to 4 feet of clearance for the wild crops underneath. On this project TerraSmart was responsible for surveying the site, using its proprietary rock drilling equipment to install the ground screw foundation and secure its GLIDE portrait racking system. The crew carefully constructed the array over three different zones, each requiring a different level of caution ranging from limited, medium and normal levels of disruption to the underbrush.

To learn more about the impact on the wild blueberry crop, the team partnered with other wild blueberry growers and the University of Maine to study how the crops perform under a solar array.

Developer: BlueWave / Contractor: CS Energy / Owner: Navisun
Mounting: TerraSmart / Modules: Q Cells, JinkoSolar |Inverters: TMEIC

Salvage Yard
Morrisville, Vermont | 2.1 MW
Editor’s Choice Award Winner Best Reuse of Land by Solar Builder Magazine

An old auto salvage yard has been converted to deliver renewable energy to the local Morrisville utility. RBI Solar provided the racking for this 2.1-megawatt system, which allows the landowners to remain on a site that has been in their family for generations. The project provides both an annual lease payment and long-needed environmental remediation.

The ground beneath the solar array is planted with pollinator-friendly ground cover to support vital habitat for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, and other helpful insects critical to future food security, boosting carbon sequestration and reducing stormwater runoff.

Developer: Encore Renewable Energy | Contractor: Peck Electric Mounting: RBI Solar | Modules: ET Solar | Inverter: CPS |

Award finalists highlight Terrasmart’s diverse project strengths

The following C&I projects were all contenders in Solar Builder’s Top C&I Project of the Year Awards. While they didn’t earn the final award they all shared unique strength and brought defining value to commercial and industrial owners.

Huntley CSD 158 Solar Portfolio
Huntley, Illinois | 5.5 MW
Finalist Best C&I Project of the Year by Solar Builder Magazine

Huntley Community School District 158 partnered with ForeFront Power to install 5.5 megawatts of solar energy capacity throughout the district, collectively making up the largest solar energy installation on school district property in Illinois. Under a power purchase agreement, ForeFront Power designed, permitted, financed, installed, and will maintain the project for 20 years, during which time the district expects to save at least $4.2 million.

The Huntley district, one of the poorest in the state, wanted to reduce energy costs to redirect funds toward student education. The system powers 80 percent of the district’s energy needs. During less active times, excess energy produced from the panels returns to the grid to serve the surrounding community.

Developer: ForeFront Power | Contractor: SolAmerica | Mounting: RBI Solar | Modules: LONGi Inverters: Solectria |

Oxford Vista Campus
Aurora, Colorado | 434 kW
Finalist Best C&I Project of the Year by Solar Builder Magazine

RBI Solar provided the racking for this 434-kilowatt system at AmeriCorps’ Oxford Vista campus in Colorado. Owned by the Urban Land Conservancy, the site now achieves net zero electric status with a combination ground mount array and carport installation designed to optimize the use of space. The ground mount array sits atop a 100-ton Daikin geo-loop VRV system, which was installed to improve the campus’ heating and cooling efficiency.

The ground mount array was placed there for optimal use of space on the campus. To get as close as possible to net zero, new RTUs, MUAs, DOAS systems, and boiler systems were design-built. White cool roofs, LED lights, and new windows were also installed.

The campus had old, outdated 1950s mechanical tech which needed a major overhaul. Their entire mechanical room was renovated. Over the next two decades, AmeriCorps expects to see more than $2.6 million in energy savings, freeing up resources to advance AmeriCorps’ primary mission.

Developer: EnergyLink | Urban Land Conservancy | Mounting: RBI Solar | Modules: LONGi | Inverters: SMA America | Carports: Powers Solar Frames

Partners for progress into the future

We thank all of our partners on these exemplary projects.

The new Terrasmart brings together 600 solar experts who’ve delivered a combined installed capacity of more than 19 gigawatts –deployed across 4,600 PV systems; our project-design software, SIFT, has been used to optimize 250 gigawatts worth of capacity.

As we are fused into one team, Terrasmart’s experts will compound their knowledge to make us an even better partner. We are poised to increase project values from start to finish, with leading solar technology and smart solutions to help our partners deliver a more powerful future for renewable energy.

With a passion to simplify projects for solar profitability anywhere and on any terrain, we seek to create more connections for solar progress. Partner with us to energize your businesses and communities — and join us in powering the world forward.

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