Leeward locks debt, tax equity for California solar-plus-storage project

First Solar's Series 6 PV modules. Image by: First Solar.

June 30 (Renewables Now) - Leeward Renewable Energy LLC has secured construction financing and tax equity commitments to back a 100 MW solar project with a 20-MW/50-MWh battery storage component in California.

The funding is earmarked for Leeward’s Rabbitbrush solar-plus-storage project in Kern County, Leeward said on Wednesday.

A total of USD 58.5 million (EUR 56m) in construction debt was extended by Wells Fargo, Silicon Valley Bank and MUFG. JP Morgan, meanwhile, provided some USD 12.5 million in tax equity and has committed to invest an additional USD 50 million once the solar park goes online.

Currently under construction, the Rabbitbrush photovoltaic (PV) park will be equipped with 415,000 modules by First Solar, with its commissioning scheduled for August. The plant’s future output will be sold to community-owned power suppliers Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) under 15-year PPAs.

The generated electricity is expected to be enough to cover the annual power demand of close to 40,000 homes.

The financing deal was Leeward’s first funding transaction for a solar-battery project. The company, a portfolio company of OMERS Infrastructure, already has roughly 2 GW of renewable power plants in operation across nine US states and has 20 GW of projects under development.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.958)

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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