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Microsoft to invest in decarbonization project in the Mississippi Delta [Renewable Energy World]

Read original article at Renewable Energy World.

Clearloop, a provider of carbon solutions meant to accelerate decarbonization of the electric grid and expand clean energy access in American communities that could benefit the most, announced an agreement with Microsoft, which has a commitment to be carbon-negative by 2030.

Through an upfront payment for long-term renewable energy credits, Microsoft is directing climate action and decarbonization investment to a 6.6-MWdc facility in Panola County, Mississippi — a community at the cross-section of the Mississippi Delta and the Appalachian Foothills — with the Panola II Solar Farm.

Through its participation in the project, Microsoft will help prevent approximately 400 million pounds of carbon from entering the atmosphere and generate enough energy to help power approximately 1,000 area homes annually.

Clearloop says it strategically locates projects in American communities where new solar generation can displace the most carbon while investing in a more equitable clean energy transition. Clearloop CEO Laura Zapata appeared on the Factor This! podcast, where she discussed how the company offers an alternative to the traditional power purchase agreement.

Clearloop’s business model aims to turn the clean energy procurement process on its head — contracting with corporate partners through up-front, one-time payments for a solar project’s environmental benefits. Businesses can opt to buy the project’s Renewable Energy Credits or carbon offsets, whichever they prefer.

As is the case with all Clearloop projects, the Panola II Solar Farm will be developed, owned, and operated by its parent Silicon Ranch for the lifetime of the project. The Panola II Solar Farm is scheduled to achieve commercial operations in 2024.

“Microsoft’s ambitious decarbonization goals and Clearloop’s mission make this a uniquely well-suited relationship, one that will come to life in this welcoming Mississippi community,” said Laura Zapata, CEO and Co-founder of Clearloop. “We are so proud to be connecting global organizations like Microsoft with communities like Panola County that can benefit the most from the energy transition taking place in our country.”

The Panola II Solar Farm is one of three new solar projects launched by Clearloop in collaboration with the Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association (TVEPA) and with the support of the local economic development group, the Panola Partnership. TVEPA is working with Clearloop and Clearloop’s parent company, Silicon Ranch, to bring locally generated renewable energy to the county for the first time.

Read original article at Renewable Energy World.

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