Lightsource BP has launched construction of two solar projects in Texas following closing of a multimillion-dollar financing package, the London-based solar energy developer said.
“This transaction is a demonstration of the low risk and stable yield opportunities that renewable energy projects offer to investors, the quality and bankability of our developed assets, and the confidence that top tier investors have in Lightsource BP,” Kevin Smith, CEO for the Americas at Lightsource BP, said in a statement on Jan. 26.
Lightsource BP is a 50:50 joint venture (JV) partnership formed in 2018 between solar veterans Lightsource Renewable Energy and global energy giant BP Plc. In the U.S., the JV is headquartered in San Francisco with development offices in Denver, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Houston.
Since late 2017, Lightsource BP has developed a pipeline of more than 8 gigawatts (GW) of large-scale solar projects at various stages of development across the U.S. with about 2 GW of contracted assets representing almost $2 billion in near term projects.
On Jan. 26, Lightsource BP closed on a $380 million financing package comprised of equity and debt to support the development of its Elm Branch and Briar Creek solar projects in Texas, both located about 40 miles south of Dallas.
The financing package follows financial close on over $1.2 billion reached by Lightsource BP in the U.S. in 2020 despite challenges posed with COVID-19, Smith said in his statement adding it was a substantial increase from 2019.
Lightsource BP said in a Jan. 26 release that construction on the Elm Branch and Briar Creek solar projects had started as result of completion of the financing package. Construction of the two projects is expected to create 500 or more local jobs, according to the company release.
McCarthy Building Cos. is engineering, procurement, and construction contractor for the projects, which Lightsource BP said it selected for both its track record and commitment to hiring from the local workforce.
Lightsource BP anticipates commercial operation of 163megawatt (MW) Elm Branch and 153 MW Briar Creek solar projects to begin by late 2021. The projects are expected to offset greenhouse gas emissions by a total of 370,000 metric tons of CO₂ annually, the company release said.
Tax equity financing for the projects was secured from Bank of America. The debt for the facilities was provided by the lead arrangers ING Capital LLC and Societe Generale.
The balance of the equity requirements will be invested by Lightsource bp. CohnReznick Capital was engaged as the tax equity adviser for the transaction.
Power contracts with energy partners Allianz and L3Harris also supported financing for the projects.
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