Lightsource bp to build, own and operate portfolio of seven utility-scale solar projects
Lightsource BP announced today that it has successfully completed over $140 million in funding, including the tax equity investment and long-term debt financing for a portfolio of seven utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects across the US.
Lightsource BP secured tax equity financing for the 125 megawatt (MW) portfolio from Rockwood Group, through its partnership with Fortune 250 Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. National Westminster Bank PLC (NatWest), a major retail and commercial bank in Europe and long-standing partner of Lightsource BP, is the senior project finance debt lender. The balance of the equity requirements will be invested by Lightsource BP.
The financing comes at a time during which the US has seen massive growth in solar energy, driven by solar’s decreasing costs and consumer demand for clean energy. The distributed and geographically dispersed nature of the portfolio, combined with secured long-term power contracts for 20-25 years, serves to diversify risk and provide for an attractive portfolio investment. CohnReznick Capital acted as Lightsource BP’s advisor for this unique and complex deal comprising seven projects across four states.
“We are pleased to be working with Guardian Life and NatWest to finance this 125 megawatt portfolio of solar projects. The transaction demonstrates the quality and bankability of our developed assets,” commented Kevin Smith, Chief Executive Officer of the Americas for Lightsource BP. “We look forward to working with our partners and stakeholders, including the communities where the projects are located, to maximize the benefits that these projects bring to our investors, our customers and local communities. Lightsource BP is committed to progressing solar energy across the US, energizing cleaner communities and boosting local economies while saving power buyers millions of dollars through low-cost solar energy procurement.”
The portfolio includes the largest solar project in Pennsylvania along with projects across the states of Kansas, California, and New Mexico:
- Whitetail Solar 1, 2, and 3 projects in Franklin County, Pennsylvania with power sales to Penn State University.
- Johnson Corner Solar project in Stanton County, Kansas with power sales to Mid-Kansas Electric Company.
- Wildflower Solar project in Sacramento County, California with power sales to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.
- Grants Solar and Bluewater Solar projects in Cibola County, New Mexico with power sales to the Continental Divide Electric Cooperative.
Solar energy is not only clean and renewable, it’s often the lowest cost energy option, while providing energy security, and local economic benefits. In total, the portfolio will:
- Create about 450 local jobs in construction, operations, maintenance and asset management
- Power the equivalent of more than 19,000 homes
- Enable the power offtakers to abate in total 132,250 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking over 28,000 fuel burning cars off the road each year