Vasari Energy, an Irvine, CA-based developer of solar energy power, is positioning itself to be a robust participant in the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program. The new initiative, which replaces the previous SREC (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates) program, establishes a set price for each 200- megawatt block of solar power up to 1600, providing investors with greater predictability and certainty in establishing solar generation facilities, compared to prior initiatives.
Vasari Energy CEO Sam Lipman was quick to praise the new SMART program. “Previously, with a program structured around renewable energy credits that were sold on the open market, it was much more difficult to set the value of the site or facility, which led to considerable uncertainty in the market. The new system, with set pricing, is much more user friendly.”
Vasari is pursuing as large a slice of the solar energy pie as possible by aggressively seeking suitable sites for the development of new projects. The company already has several signed letters of interest and purchase and sales agreements in place, and continues to pursue negotiations with multiple landowners throughout the state. Prime targets are in eastern and central Massachusetts, although the western part of the state is also being considered due to its greater abundance of open space and lower land costs.
Lipman praises the foresight of Massachusetts’ leaders in establishing the state as one of the trailblazers in the solar market, despite its relatively small size and lack of abundant sunshine. “Their programs have always been very robust and innovative, and the SMART program is just the latest example,” he says. “Another reason I like the idea of operating in Massachusetts is that it has remote access metering, which means you can plug into the grid in one geographic area and sell energy to another.”
Once the Vasari team has completed feasibility, pre-engineering, environmental and transmission impact studies, the company may construct a solar power plant or sell a project at the ready-to-build stage. “Sites can drop out at any time throughout this process,” says Lipman, “so we will have a lot of irons in the fire.”
About Vasari Energy
Vasari Energy was established to develop, engineer, build and operate utility-scale electric power plants that produce reliable and clean energy. The company will play an active role as a long-term owner, in all phases of renewable energy generation, from planning and development through construction and commercial operation. The company is led by an experienced management team that has broad experience in solar project development, transmission line development, permitting requirements, construction processes, and ongoing operations.