Louisiana solar farms have surprising owners

SUN POWER: Louisiana’s solar industry has taken some hits in recent years, but interest is growing. (iStock)

Of the 16 solar power farms proposed in Louisiana, nearly half are controlled by an East Coast hedge fund with an appetite for solar and wind projects contained in a growing $15 billion renewable power portfolio, reports NOLA.com.

New York City-based D.E. Shaw Investments is supporting seven utility-scale projects in Louisiana, while eight other businesses from startups to big players — from inside and outside the U.S. — are behind nine other large-scale solar projects in various stages across the state. Only one of the 16 is operational so far, with two of D.E. Shaw’s projects near completion.

All the projects have sought or are seeking public approval of 80% property tax breaks for up to 10 years through the state’s Industrial Property Tax Exemption Program for projects on primarily agricultural land being transformed into industrial sites that typically last at least two decades. Read the full story.