News

A YEAR IN REVIEW: 2022

As we started to look back at 2022 and all that we have done as a team, as well as individuals, we couldn’t help but share some of our most proud (and fun) moments of 2022. In no particular order:

Participants in the Halloween Costume Contest (both remote and in office): 14 Pictured above (left to right): Lindsey (Title Commitment), Jesse Hopkins-Hoel (John Dutton), Jacy Smith (Patrick Pelstring – The Costume Contest Winner!), Daniel Parish (Charlie Brown Ghost), Mauli Sand (Elf), Caroline Landauer (Deer), Conner Wilkinson (The Dude, Big Lebowski)
Staff Lunch: 67 (at least)
Largest Conference Attended: RE+ 2022 – over 27,000 attendees! Pictured above (left to right): Michelle Niedfeldt, Mauli Sand, Lindsey Ransom

More of 2022’s Highlights:

  • Acres Signed: 145,264 Acre
  • All Hands Meetings Held: 3 
  • Development Projects Sold: 2 
  • Fish Caught at NRS Team Ice Fishing Event: 1
  • Ground Breakings: 2 
  • Industry Conferences attended: 8+
  • Internal Promotions: 6 
  • Job Fairs Attended: 1 
  • Landowner Meetings Held: 6 
  • New hires: 12 (including Senior Vice President, Construction
  • NRS Challenges Conner has won: 3 (we thought there were more, but he seems to be cursed to 2nd place in the office Fantasy Football league)
  • Staff Lunches: 67
  • Successful Chili Cookoffs: 1
  • Total signed agreements + Landowner Goodie Boxes Sent: 504

 We are in awe of all we were able to accomplish with the hard work and dedication of our team! The NRS Team is ramped up to accomplish even more this year! Here’s to a renewed energy for 2023 (pun intended)!

Nautilus Makes Headway in Maine’s Versant Utility Territory with Acquisition of 7.6MW Community Solar Portfolio.

Transaction with National Renewable Solutions overcame stringent timelines in complex market conditions.

Summit, New Jersey (November 16, 2022) – Nautilus Solar Energy®, LLC (“Nautilus”), on behalf of its affiliate Nautilus US Power Holdco, LLC (“NUPH”), announces the acquisition of a 7.6MW community solar portfolio of two projects in Maine from National Renewable Solutions, LLC (“NRS”), a renewable energy company.  Located in Presque Isle, Aroostook County, the projects are in the late stage of development and are expected to reach operation by third quarter of 2023. Once completed, the community solar projects will provide an alternative energy option to the City of Presque Isle and other commercial off-takers within Versant Power’s Maine Public District utility territory.

The transaction between the two parties overcame several challenges, including a stringent timeline was also in place to accommodate weather constraints for designing and building in northern Maine.   

“We are very proud of our team for managing a quick and complex transaction in a creative, flexible, and proactive way. It was also a pleasure to partner with NRS as their expertise helped expedite timelines and reduce development risks in this emerging solar market,” said Daniela Pangallo, Business Development Director at Nautilus. “This acquisition exemplifies Nautilus’s commitment to working closely with our development partners and expands our overall footprint as a leading Community Solar company in the U.S.,” added Jeffrey Cheng, CEO of Nautilus.

“Consistent with our community model, NRS has enjoyed the opportunity to work closely with the City of Presque to execute a shared objective of building clean, affordable, and sustainable community solar projects on local land. The Nautilus team was able to mobilize quickly and proved very effective in collaborating on key late-stage development issues. We are excited to see Nautilus bring these projects through construction and into operations,” said Ryan Pelstring, CFO of NRS.

The projects are part of the Maine Net Energy Billing Commercial program (NEB Tariff) that allows customers to receive renewable energy benefits and a monetary bill-credit at a prescribed rate. NUPH is the long-term owner of the projects and Nautilus is responsible for overseeing construction, maintaining its long-term performance, and acquiring and managing customer subscriptions. When fully operational the projects are expected to generate over 11 million kilowatt hours (kWhs) annually, contributing to Maine’s goals of providing economic growth, workforce opportunities, and relying on 80% clean energy by 2030 and 100% clean energy by 2050.

About Nautilus Solar Energy

Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC is a leading community solar company, providing clean energy to residential and commercial customers in local communities. Nautilus operates and manages solar farms in 10 states and is responsible for financing, development, maintenance, and customer service for the lifetime of the project. Founded in 2006, Nautilus has helped shape the future of solar to provide an equitable and affordable renewable energy choice for all. Nautilus is owned by Power Sustainable, a wholly owned subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada. Power Sustainable is a multi-platform alternative asset manager with a long-term investment approach focused on sustainable strategies. For more information on Nautilus Solar Energy visit nautilussolar.com.  Join Nautilus on LinkedInFacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Contact:

Nautilus Solar Energy

Carlene Pruitt

908-795-3038

Carlene@nautilussolar.com

About National Renewable Solutions

NRS is an emerging renewable IPP which has a rich history and success deploying a community-based stakeholder engagement model for its utility scale wind and solar projects. NRS originates, acquires, and develops renewable energy projects throughout the US at various stages, including from greenfield through operations. NRS has a current active development portfolio comprising over 4 GW of renewable projects. In mid-2021, NRS was acquired by BlackRock Real Assets – Climate Infrastructure Group (“BlackRock”) with the intention of accelerating the development of its pipeline of projects toward financing, construction, and operations.

For more information on National Renewable Solutions visit www.natrs.com.

Contact:

National Renewable Solutions

Brad Wilson

651-233-3217

bwilson@natrs.com

Source – Nautilus Solar

The 2nd NRS Chili Cookoff, Axe Throwing, and Productivity, too!

On an average Wednesday morning in early November, the NRS kitchen was filled with chili aroma as eight NRS employees plugged in their respective crockpots for the 2nd NRS Chili Cookoff. The fun atmosphere was welcoming to the new faces on the NRS team as the full staff gathered for the 3-day, quarterly “all hands” meeting at NRS Headquarters in Minneapolis, MN.

At the lunchtime break, staff tried and scored the various chilis, including white chicken and 2 vegetarian chilis. Scoring was based on the name, taste, smell, texture, and overall goodness of the chili.  While they were all delicious (and yes, most tried all eight chilis), it came down to mere decimal points to determine the winner: The Ragin’ Cajun, made by our CDO, Jesse Hopkins-Hoel. Some had argued his wasn’t an actual chili as it was made with shrimp and had more of a stew consistency than chili, but the points don’t lie! Honorable mention was 2nd place Texas Turmoil, a spicy Texan chili (no beans) from Senior Project Developer, Conner Wilkinson. Many thanks to all of the chili cookers! It was, hands down, the best lunch we’ve had at these gatherings.

In the evenings after our productive meeting days, we were able to get out and enjoy some Top Golf and axe throwing, which was really fun to see the unique hidden talents of our team. That Friday, we wished Tyler, our Senior Interconnection Analyst, a happy (early) birthday, pictured above (top right). 

It was an eventful and successful week, and we are extremely grateful for this amazing NRS crew!

October Conference Recap: RMEL, NAEMA, and WSPP

October Newsletter

The NRS Business Development Team had a productive and busy October. They participated in the Rocky Mountain Electrical League (RMEL) and the North American Energy Markets Association (NAEMA), and The Western Systems Power Pool (WSPP) Fall Conferences.  Along with major sponsorships, the team participated in numerous activities in the Denver area for RMEL, Atlanta for NAEMA, and Palm Springs for WSPP.

At RMEL the team had informative discussions with battery storage suppliers and EPC providers for upcoming projects.  While in Atlanta and Palm Springs, offtake leadership had several conversations with major utilities and industrial leadership for power offtake opportunities for our current portfolio of wind, solar, storage. 

We look forward to growing and maturing these connections in the upcoming events at the Mountain West Clean Energy Procurement Summit in Salt Lake City in early November, and at the Colorado Solar & Storage Association (COSSA) the last week in February 2023.

Mark Russell (NRS), Brooke Vorhees, Chase Cheshire (NRS) at the NRS sponsored golf hole at the NAEMA Conference.

Presque Isle 1 & 2 Solar – Groundbreaking Ceremonies

September Newsletter

In true NRS fashion, our Director of Solar Development, Brad Wilson, was joined with leaders from the community to break ground on two of our Maine solar projects, aptly named Presque Isle 1 and Presque Isle 2.

These projects, which are slated to begin operations early next year, are a reflection of our ongoing commitment with our Project landowners and the communities they are a part of. Stay tuned to our upcoming newsletters for updates on the construction progress and other project news.

PRESQUE ISLE 1 SOLAR

Photos (left to right): Tim Roix (BR Smith Associates), Jason Wollard (Penobscot McCrum), Tom Powers (Presque Isle Industrial Council), Brad Wilson (NRS), Galen Weibley (City of Presque Isle), Martin Puckett (City of Presque Isle)

PRESQUE ISLE SOLAR 2

Photos (left to right): Tim Roix (BR Smith Associates), Jason Wollard (Penobscot McCrum), Tom Powers (Presque Isle Industrial Council), Brad Wilson (NRS), Tim Waters (AUI Partners), Martin Puckett (City of Presque Isle), Galen Weibley (City of Presque Isle)

Promotion Alert: Congratulations to Alex & Conner!

July Newsletter

We are excited to announce that Alex Ingulsrud and Conner Wilkinson have each been promoted to the role of Senior Project Developer at NRS!

Alex and Conner have shown exemplary dedication to our New Mexico and Colorado projects, demonstrated the ability to learn new skills and concepts quickly, and have built long-lasting relationships in each of our local communities.

Both Alex and Conner are already great leaders and valued members of our team who are looked-up to by their peers and respected in our communities and within the industry. We look forward to the leadership they will continue to provide for the benefit of our projects and within the development team.

Please join us in congratulating Alex and Conner to their new roles – we look forward to seeing your continued growth at NRS!

Alex Ingulsrud, Senior Project Developer
Conner Wilkinson, Senior Project Developer

Quarterly All Hands Gathering (and the First NRS Table Tennis Tournament)

June Newsletter

NRS Staff

NRS Headquarters was buzzing last week with the arrival of its remote staff for the quarterly company-wide “all hands” meeting. The team had a great two and a half days of productive working meetings, break-outs, and planning & strategy sessions. For our team-building event, the team enjoyed some excellent entertainment (and skill) by spectating and participating in the First NRS Table Tennis Tournament.

In a 3-round, single-elimination tournament starting Wednesday, each team member went head-to-head to see who would advance to the next round. Even though they were short games to 11pts, all the matches were fought hard! The culmination of the 3-day tournament ended Friday morning in the championship match between Alex and Conner – Developer v. Developer.  *queue the music: Chariots of Fire​*

Patrick and Ryan, Round 1

It was an evenly matched game with excellent volleys and a few stingers from both opponents (Conner with that spin and Alex with that corner shot!), but in the end, Conner prevailed over Alex. Congrats Conner!

Thanks to the whole NRS crew for a fun and productive week!

Alex and Conner, Championship Game

Exciting Economic Growth in Sterling, CO

May Newsletter

The NRS Development team has had a lot of fun exploring the old jail in Sterling on their recent visits to Colorado. The building has been transformed into The Annex, a coworking community created in collaboration with Logan County Economic Development and other local groups. They have small conference rooms, shared workspaces/event rooms, and Flex Spaces – small private rooms, all available by reservation.

They are continuing the expansion into the 2nd floor of the old jail as “Phase 2” of the project. They will be adding more meeting spaces and offices, which will be available for rent.

We look forward to the finished product and the growth it will bring to this vibrant town!

Photo of the Annex, courtesy of the Annex website.
Mauli Sand, NRS Development Team Member

NRS Attends ACORE 20th Anniversary Gala & Policy Forum in D.C.

NRS April Newsletter

Members of the NRS Executive team attended the ACORE (American Council on Renewable Energy) Gala celebrating their 20th anniversary on March 23rd, followed by the annual Policy Forum the next day in Washington DC. It was the first time the organization held an in-person event since the start of the pandemic, and while there were plenty of jokes about remembering how to socialize and tie a necktie, it was wonderful to see and feel the excitement for the topic of the events as well. The keynote speakers and panelists included several senior industry professionals, FERC Commissioner, Willie Phillips; The Honorable Ron Wyden, Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance; the current EPA Administrator, Michael Regan; as well as two former EPA administrators, Carol Browner and Gina McCarthy.

The recurring themes at these events were centered on issues of supply chain (which at the time, we were still awaiting word from the US Commerce department regarding its investigation on solar panels from Southeast Asia), energy equity, the need for high voltage transmission builds, and the hope for congress to pass a suite of renewable tax incentives yet this spring as a part of a budget reconciliation bill. It’s clear that the sense of urgency to pass these incentives is heightened by the clear need for the west to gain energy independence from countries like Russia, which has been the main reason energy prices have spiked more recently.  

The folks at ACORE are certainly doing their part to urge congress to act – and you should too! 

Join us and show your support for the Budget Reconciliation Bill

We encourage you to write an email to your representative(s) asking them to support the passage of long-term, clean energy tax incentives that include new credits for storage and transmission, now, as a part of the budget reconciliation tax package. Together, we make our voices louder.

EMAIL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE

Landowner Feature: Will Pattison

NRS March Newsletter

Will Pattison (left), one of our New Mexico landowners, was featured on the cover of issue 99 of the Meng AIR Modeller Magazine, a globally renowned aircraft modelling publication. His “War-Weary Warhawk” (plane) was highlighted for his creative approach with heavy weathering. Pattison, who survived a devastating spinal cord injury suffered in 2009, built scale models as a boy and got back into it as part of his physical therapy program. He now sells work to collectors and has been featured in a number of magazines and books.

“These fighters were truly filthy and as soon as I started collecting Banshee photos, I knew where this project was going.” – Pattison commenting on the approach he found himself taking once he started the project.

Pattison’s weathering detail is so well done, it’s truly hard to tell this aircraft is 1/32 of the normal size. Detail like this could only come from a true artist like Pattison, who is also a gifted photographer. Well done, Will!

*Photos by Will Pattison
Visit Will’s YouTube Channel HERE

Will Pattison working in his studio.
The cover of the Meng AIR Modeller Magazine featuring Pattison’s Hasegawa Warhawk model plane.
The article with more photos of Pattison’s Hasegawa 1/32 P-40, highlighting its heavy weathering.