Oil, gas developers on solar quest


Geologist Kirk Barrell has been on the hunt for oil and gas pockets across Louisiana for decades, but now he’s searching for land to build solar farms, reports NOLA.com. Barrell is co-founder of NuQuest Energy, a renewable energy developer looking to build large solar farms in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi, then sell the electricity to utility companies.

NuQuest Energy is based in New Orleans and was created by a group of oil and gas industry service executives looking to jump into the renewable energy business. NuQuest Energy co-founders include Denis Taylor and Bob Rosamond, partners at Houston-based engineering firm Audubon Companies, alongside Alex Guitart, president of New Orleans Land & Title Company LLC. Barrell also runs Amelia Resources, which secures oil and gas leases from private landowners for saleĀ in the Louisiana shale plays.

Entergy is one utility provider seeking to buy several hundred megawatts of renewable power from developers in the coming years. NuQuest Energy was incorporated in March and expects to close on a deal soon for its first self-funded solar project, which could produce up to 100 megawatts of electricity (utility-scale solar). The company built its own software tool that it plans to use in scouting for suitable land for solar, close to the existing grid and transmission lines where there may be a lack of power but high demand. See the full story.