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Pleasant Valley Solar Project Partners Commit $123,000 in Scholarship Funds to Boise State University and College of Western Idaho

Business Wire 16-May-2024 5:46 PM

Matrix Renewables, rPlus Energies, Sundt Construction, EliTe Solar and Idaho Power unveil the latest iteration of rPlus Energies' Local First Scholarship and launch new Energy First Scholarship series

Today, Pleasant Valley Solar project partners, Matrix Renewables, rPlus Energies, Sundt Construction, EliTe Solar, and Idaho Power, announced that they have committed a total of $123,000 to both College of Western Idaho and Boise State University for two scholarships: the Local First – Pleasant Valley Solar Scholarship, in partnership with College of Western Idaho, and the Energy First – Pleasant Valley Solar Scholarship, in partnership with Boise State University. Each school will receive $61,500 for its respective program.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240516328756/en/

Pleasant Valley Solar project partners (Matrix Renewables, rPlus Energies, Sundt Construction, EliTe Solar and Idaho Power), Boise State University and College of Western Idaho representatives host event to announce new scholarship offerings. (Photo: Business Wire)

Pleasant Valley Solar project partners (Matrix Renewables, rPlus Energies, Sundt Construction, EliTe Solar and Idaho Power), Boise State University and College of Western Idaho representatives host event to announce new scholarship offerings. (Photo: Business Wire)

The Local First Scholarship series was launched in 2022 in partnership with Utah State University Eastern and has since expanded its offerings with Southern Utah University and now College of Western Idaho. The Local First Scholarship series exclusively supports students in counties where rPlus Energies constructs its projects, aiming to keep talent local and develop community workforce needs. Applicants may choose to pursue any certificate, associate, or 4-year program.

The inaugural Energy First Scholarship series focuses on students pursuing careers in the energy sector, providing partial tuition scholarships for degrees in engineering, environmental, or construction programs at local universities. The Energy First – Pleasant Valley Solar Scholarship, in partnership with Boise State University, is the pilot in the Energy First series.

Both scholarships will be open to applicants beginning December 2024. Students will need to be admitted to their respective institutions to be eligible to apply for the award.

"Matrix Renewables was founded on the mission to advance the adoption of a decarbonized energy market through sustainable development practices that support the communities we operate in," said Cindy Tindell, Managing Director, Head of U.S. for Matrix Renewables. "In keeping with our founding mission and in celebration of Matrix's Pleasant Valley Project, we are thrilled to support the education of students who wish to support their communities and that will pursue a career in energy."

"Our commitment remains deeply rooted in our community-centric approach, fostering opportunities that not only enrich individuals but also contribute to the prosperity of our host communities," said Luigi Resta, rPlus Energies President & CEO. "Our new Energy First Scholarship series recognizes the pivotal role of energy-related occupations in shaping tomorrow's landscape -- from engineers to construction experts, the energy sector offers a diverse array of career paths, and we're eager to support those interested in our industry."

"College of Western Idaho is honored to receive this support from the Pleasant Valley Solar Project Partners," said Mark Arstein, Vice President of Advancement at CWI. "The Local First Scholarship will directly empower our students, 98% of whom are Idaho residents, to pursue their educational goals and contribute to the thriving local economy. By investing in our students' futures, these companies are not only strengthening our community but also fueling the growth and innovation of the Treasure Valley workforce."

"I'm very pleased and grateful that the partners of Pleasant Valley Solar have chosen to invest in Boise State students," said Argia Beristain, senior associate vice president for development in the Advancement division at Boise State University. "Here, our goals are aligned as we strive to make positive impacts in Idaho communities and address pressing challenges like the future of energy. In endowing the Pleasant Valley Solar Scholarship, Pleasant Valley Solar and its partners are building a sustainable source of student support, empowering them to pursue their studies and careers regardless of their financial situation."

The Local First and Energy First Scholarship series have funded a combined $318,000 for students to date.

"Sundt is excited to support local Idaho students in partnership with our project partners," said Emily Dwosh, Sundt's Community Relations Manager and Sundt Foundation Executive Director. "The scholarship program aligns with Sundt's dedication to improving our local communities and our commitment to workforce development."

"We are proud to be a part of the Local First Pleasant Valley Scholarship, paving the way for aspiring innovators in renewable energy. Together, we are shaping a future where talent and sustainability intersect," said Alex Chen, General Manager of EliTe Solar.

Pleasant Valley Solar is a 200 MWac / 261 MWdc solar project located in Idaho which will deliver energy to the Idaho Power system and contribute to Meta's goal to support 100% of its operations with renewable energy. Specifically, output from the project will go into the same grid that supports Meta's new data center in Kuna, ID. The project is currently under construction and is expected to employ approximately 220 construction-related jobs.

Developed by rPlus Energies, Pleasant Valley Solar is owned by Matrix Renewables. Sundt, a national contractor with a strong presence in the Mountain West, provides EPC services for the project and has contributed to every Local First Scholarship program thus far. EliTe Solar is providing the solar modules for Pleasant Valley Solar with Idaho Power contracted as the utility offtake partner for this project.

About Matrix Renewables

Matrix Renewables is a renewable energy platform founded in 2020 by global alternative asset manager TPG through its impact investing platform, TPG Rise. With corporate offices in Madrid, Spain and offices in Miami, Florida, Santiago de Chile, Chile and Rome, Italy, Matrix Renewables focuses on developing, constructing, and operating renewable energy assets across the US, Europe, and Latin America. The Matrix Renewables portfolio comprises approximately 14 GW of operational, under construction, or under development solar, storage, and green hydrogen projects.

About rPlus Energies

rPlus Energies is a team of committed energy industry professionals working together to develop large-scale renewable energy generation and electric storage projects in the United States. The company specializes in bringing projects to market through partnership with the private sector, municipalities, utilities, and industry-leading technology and service providers. Its portfolio consists of a strategic mix of solar, battery, wind, and pumped storage hydro facilities. rPlus Energies is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah and is backed by Sandbrook Capital and Gardner Group.

About Sundt

Sundt Construction (www.sundt.com) has been building critical infrastructure across the United States for 134 years. The company has a strong presence in the Mountain West where it is currently working on multiple highway projects for the Idaho Transportation Department, including the I-86 and I-15 Interchange in Pocatello, Idaho. In Utah, the company is building the new $528 million New Water Reclamation Facility for Salt Lake City's Department of Public Utilities. Sundt was recently recognized with the 2023 Energy Project of the Year award from AGC Utah for the Appaloosa Solar I project, and is currently working on the 250 MW Pleasant Valley Solar project in western Idaho. Sundt has offices throughout Utah, Arizona, California, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Florida and is currently ranked the country's 62nd largest construction company by ENR, the industry's principal trade magazine.

About EliTe Solar

EliTe Solar, established in 2005, has a proven track record of delivering over 10GW of solar modules globally. As a premier provider of photovoltaic modules and intelligent energy solutions, EliTe Solar offers optimized solar solutions catering to utility, commercial, and industrial clients worldwide. Through customized continuous innovation in solar technologies and finance solutions, EliTe Solar delivers intelligent energy solutions that maximize value and mitigate risk while optimizing the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE). Headquartered in Singapore and with manufacturing facilities in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia, EliTe Solar is committed to sustainability and excellence in providing reliable and efficient solar solutions. Discover more about our offerings at elite-solar.com .

About Idaho Power

Idaho Power, headquartered in vibrant and fast-growing Boise, Idaho, has been a locally operated energy company since 1916. Today, it serves a 24,000-square-mile area in Idaho and Oregon. The company's goal to provide 100% clean energy by 2045 builds on its long history as a clean-energy leader that provides reliable service at affordable prices. With 17 low-cost hydroelectric projects at the core of its diverse energy mix, Idaho Power's residential, business and agricultural customers pay among the nation's lowest prices for electricity. Its 2,100 employees proudly serve more than 630,000 customers with a culture of safety first, integrity always and respect for all.

IDACORP Inc. (NYSE:IDA), Idaho Power's independent publicly traded parent company, is also headquartered in Boise, Idaho. To learn more, visit idahopower.com or idacorpinc.com.

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