Kent County community solar project gets boost with Walmart investment

Photo courtesy of Delaware Electric

Kent County is one of several locations around the nation that will see community solar projects that will share land with agricultural operations under a partnership with Walmart.

Pivot Energy announced today that Walmart is investing in 19 solar projects under development across the country, including 15 community solar projects. The tax equity investment includes projects in Illinois, Colorado, Maryland, California, and Delaware.

Part of the project is the 4,000 kWac Chaberton Solar Crestone LLC solar project in Harrington, Kent County.

The project will have sheep grazing between the solar panels, with 15% of subscribers from low and moderate income communities. Construction of Chaberton Solar Crestone begins this year. A rough estimate indicates the project can power 2,000 homes.

Legislation designed to attract community solar investment was passed in Delaware in 2022 and led to proposals for 250 megawatts of electricity. Most proposals are backlogged as grid operator PJM sorts through applications. Some projects may have fallen through due to higher interest rates and other factors.


The tax equity investment from Walmart will be used in the construction of 72 megawatts of community solar projects around the nation.

Many of the projects are in Colorado and are designed to provide the benefits of solar energy to homes owned in low and moderate income communities.

The investment differs from other solar projects that are often aimed at helping large electricity users like Amazon and banks meet clean energy goals.

“Our partnership with Pivot demonstrates our approach to new clean energy investments, aimed at enabling high-impact, high-quality projects that drive positive outcomes. In addition to facilitating a cleaner power grid, this portfolio will help expand access to clean energy and provide direct savings on energy costs for thousands of households in the communities we serve, including low-and moderate-income communities,” said Frank Palladino, vice president, Renewable Energy Strategy at Walmart.

Tom Hunt, CEO of Pivot Energy, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration with Walmart, stating, “We are thrilled to partner with Walmart to scale renewable energy across the U.S. and meet the moment of corporate decarbonization demand. By leveraging our expertise in community solar development, we are committed to delivering impactful projects that promote sustainability and equitable access to clean energy.”

Pivot Energy will also work with landowners to maximize both solar energy production and agricultural production on several of the community solar projects, known as agrivoltaics. At these sites, drip irrigation will be installed which will enable crop production in between the rows of the solar array, in addition to sheep grazing, habitat enhancement, and other land stewardship practices.

Kent County, the site of the above-mentioned Delaware project, placed a moratorium on solar, after farmers expressed fears about losing land, with solar developers often making payments above the value of crops.

The Harrington solar farm is located on a tract between railroad tracks and a wooded area.