July 18, 2024

Here are the Utility-scale Solar nominees for the 2022 Solar Builder Project of the Year Awards, sponsored by EagleView Technologies. Accurate data, virtual site assessments, and installation-ready designs will optimize your solar sales funnel and operations — learn more in this EagleView special report Breaking Down and Through Soft Costs.
The form is at the bottom of the page. You are allowed to vote once per day from now until Friday Oct. 14 at midnight (EDT). Winners will be announced and prominently featured in the Q4 issue of Solar Builder magazine and online in December.
Mount Olive, New Jersey | 25.6 MW
This is the largest solar array ever developed on a landfill property in the United States and enabled the township to recoup nearly $2.3 million in past taxes and employ hundreds of union workers. The landfill was not properly closed when the former owner went bankrupt and abandoned the property in the early 1980s. The ensuing environmental contamination earned it one of the first spots on the U.S. EPA National Priorities List of Superfund sites in 1982. CEP purchased tax liens that had been long-owned by the Township of Mt. Olive and foreclosed on the liens, utilizing a unique public-private partnership and redevelopment structure that successfully turned this environmental hazard into a proof of concept for brownfield & landfill redevelopment projects in New Jersey. The tax revenue now generated from the facility will subsidize the township’s annual budget, in that the property had not generated tax revenue in nearly 40 years.
Developer: CEP Renewables, LLC | EPC and installer: CS Energy | Modules: Boviet Solar | Inverters: TMEIC | Racking: Terrasmart
O’ahu, Hawai’i | 39 MW + 156 MWh
Clearway Energy Group completed the first utility-scale solar + battery energy storage project on O’ahu, which is Hawai’i’s most populous island. Mililani Solar I was completed ahead of schedule to meet the island’s target of closing its last coal plant (and the last in the state) by Sept. 1 and the state’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045. The accelerated timeline was remarkable considering it overcame Covid-related and other supply chain delays, personnel shortages, and the simple challenge of it being the first large-scale solar and battery project on the island. The $140 million project created over 240 local union jobs during construction and will support more during the lifetime of the facility.
Developer: Clearway Energy Group | EPC: Moss | Modules JA Solar | Inverters: Power Electronics | Storage: Wartsila | Mounting: Nextracker
Richland County, Wisc. | 50-MW
The Bear Creek Solar Project is the first of 12 solar projects that Alliant Energy is building throughout Wisconsin as part of its Clean Energy Blueprint. The project was completed safely by Burns & McDonnell on time, on budget, and with high quality, amid challenging market conditions — from COVID-19 to labor shortages to the solar tariff investigation, challenges that canceled or paused most of the solar construction in the U.S. The Burns & McDonald team developed a series of custom technology applications specifically for the job that calculated precise heights for each pile above the surface that were fed the pile driver (with no laser guidance). This in-house solution resulted in fewer than 1% of piles requiring rework. The team also employed a vegetative screen along Highway 130 so the site will ultimately blend into the area.
Developers: Originally developed by Savion, purchased by Alliant Energy | EPC: Burns & McDonnell | Installers: Burns & McDonnell and AZCO | Modules: Trina, Risen Energy | Inverters: Power Electronics
Racking: Array Technologies
Wellington, UT | 104 MWdc
Graphite solar began delivering for its community even before it entered commercial operation. The project partners worked with Utah State University Eastern to create a scholarship for students who reside in the county. The Local First Scholarship provides $75,000 for students who wish to remain local while pursuing their career goals and is the first in a series that will support rural communities in meeting their workforce needs. The project’s home of Carbon County is a place named for its coal mines and history of fossil fuel. The county once housed the state’s oldest coal plant until it was retired in 2015. Today, Graphite delivers solar energy to the Meta (formerly Facebook) data center in nearby Eagle Mountain. During construction, available resources and 80% of the were sourced from the local community, which involved installing 1.5 miles of transmission lines and 257,700 solar modules, supported 273,800 hours of construction labor.
Developer: rPlus Energies | EPC: Sundt Renewables | Installer: DKD Electric | Modules: Boviet | Inverters: Sungrow | Racking: Nextracker
Shiawassee County, Mich. | 346.9 MWdc
Plotted on 1,200 acres in Shiawassee County, Michigan, Assembly is Michigan’s largest solar plant to date. The solar farm was completed in three phases across 26 months and features nearly 800,000 bifacial modules, which is especially beneficial in the Midwest in the winter. The project team utilized drones for mapping, which helped McCarthy’s vegetation team formulate a storm water pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) for the project. In addition to the jobs created by the project, the tax revenue from Assembly provides tax funding for schools, libraries, fire and police services, roads, community services and more, bringing substantial economic benefit to the local economy.
Developers: DESRI & Ranger Power | EPC / Installer: McCarthy Building Companies | Modules: LONGi | Inverters: TMEIC | Trackers: Nextracker

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