Apex Announces Wheatsborough Solar Project Under the Microsoft–Volt Energy Utility Environmental Justice Framework

The Companies Will Invest a Portion of the Project’s Revenue in Under-Resourced Communities

Charlottesville, VA – January 11, 2024 – Apex Clean Energy today announced that its 125 MW Wheatsborough Solar project in Ohio was contracted under the Microsoft–Volt Energy Utility Environmental Justice Framework.

Microsoft and Volt Energy Utility, a minority-owned solar energy development firm, developed the innovative framework to leverage corporate emmissionality goals to support environmental justice, community, and diversity initiatives. This framework, and the Wheatsborough project, supports Microsoft’s goal to supply 100% of its energy needs with renewable energy while modeling a power procurement approach that redirects resources to community-led clean energy and resiliency projects.

The PPA prioritizes the equitable distribution of the benefits of the clean energy economy, with a focus on initiatives advancing women and minority leadership and job creation; carbon neutrality; habitat restoration; and end-of-life recycling.

A percentage of the revenue produced by the PPA will be invested into the Sharing the Power Foundation, which is focused on environmental health and economic justice in historically underserved urban and rural communities. In addition, Wheatsborough Solar will fund community and conservation grants and clean energy workforce development. Through the Apex Conservation Grant Program, $125,000 will be awarded for local wildlife conservation, restoration, or other environmental remediation investments in or near the project community.

“Working to bring the benefits of solar energy to Erie County in collaboration with Microsoft and Apex Clean Energy, who share a commitment to community and the environment, is vitally important to our company,” said Gilbert Campbell, CEO of Volt Energy Utility and board chair of the Sharing the Power Foundation.

“As Microsoft works toward a more sustainable and equitable future, it’s exciting to see our collaboration with Volt supplying new renewable energy with an organization like Apex,” said Kourtney Nelson, director of renewable energy procurement at Microsoft. “As we look to meet our ambitious clean energy goals, it’s critical that we deliver benefits to under-resourced communities—and that’s what this project will do.”

“Developing renewable energy projects that are reliable and sustainable is imperative; prioritizing equitable deployment will further elevate our industry’s overall impact,” said Ken Young, CEO of Apex. “This agreement allows Wheatsborough Solar to move beyond the megawatt, creating a lasting impact in the local community and beyond.”

During construction, which is underway, Wheatsborough will create over 100 local jobs, at least 75 percent of which will be for Ohio residents. The project is expected to come online in the first half of 2025.

About Apex Clean Energy

Apex Clean Energy was founded with a singular focus: to accelerate the shift to clean energy. Through origination, construction, and operation of utility-scale wind, solar, and storage facilities, distributed energy resources, and green fuel technologies, Apex is expanding the renewable frontier across North America. Our mission-driven team of more than 400 professionals uses a data-focused approach and an unrivaled portfolio of projects to create solutions for the world’s most innovative and forward-thinking customers. For more information about how Apex is building the energy company of the future, visit apexcleanenergy.com or follow us on FacebookYouTube, and LinkedIn.

About Volt Energy Utility

Volt Energy Utility (Volt) is an African-American owned national utility-scale solar developer occupying a very unique position in the renewable energy sector. Volt develops utility-scale projects that decisively meet the clean energy, environmental and diversity goals of its clients. Volt Energy Utility pioneered the Environmental Justice Power Purchase Agreement TM (EJ PPA) TM to ensure utility-scale solar projects bring benefits to communities of color, low income and rural communities. Volt founded The Sharing the Power Foundation, an environmental justice foundation that is funded by Volt’s EJ PPAs with its corporate partners.

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