BOSTON, April 7, 2020 / PRNewswire / – Longroad Energy, a US-based developer, owner and operator of renewable energy, today announced the financial close and start of construction of Little Bear Solar, comprising four separate projects totaling 215 MWdirect current in Fresno County, CALIFORNIA. In addition, two Danish pension funds, PKA and PenSam, represented by their investment manager AIP, announced today that they are investing in 50% of the holdings of Little Bear Solar and Prospero I Solar, the 379 power plant. MWdirect current project in Andrews County, Texas.
“Longroad is delighted to complete funding for Little Bear’s solar projects and to expand our partnership with PKA and PenSam through AIP,” said Paul Gaynor, CEO of Longroad. “The Longroad / AIP partnership now owns 837 MW of wind and solar projects. Last July, AIP made its first onshore wind investment in the United States, joining Longroad as an investor in the El Campo wind project in Knox County, Texas, which is currently under construction and is expected to go live in Q2 2020. Prospero I is expected to go live in Q2 2020 and Little Bear is expected to go live in Q4 2020. We are delighted to own these three great projects alongside AIP. ”
“Driving the energy transition if necessary requires a large amount of resources, experience and capital. I am very proud of this transaction, which further strengthens our partnership with Longroad, and brings together Longroad’s expertise with AIP’s investment experience, while generating stable returns over time for PKA and PenSam retirement savers. “, said Kasper Hansen, managing partner of AIP.
Little Bear, 215 MWdirect current, Fresno County, California
Little Bear consists of four separate projects selling energy and RECs to Marin Clean Energy (MCE) as part of the 20-year Busbar PWA. The projects are expected to be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of 2020. In addition to creating approximately 500 jobs during the construction of the facility, the project will contribute more than $ 2 million in sales and property taxes.
“We are delighted to be working with MCE to provide reliable and clean solar electricity to the communities of the Bay Area,” said Michel alvarez, COO of Longroad Energy. “MCE customers have made the important choice to consume carbon-free electricity, and we are happy to welcome them through the Little Bear projects. These projects are responsibly developed, backed by long-term PPAs and powered by innovative solar technology engineered in America, and are significant additions to Longroad’s growing portfolio in United States. “
Alvarez added, “We would like to thank the staff of the Fresno County Public Works and Planning Department for their professionalism and commitment to excellence at all levels. We consider Fresno County partner in this project and look forward to continuing to work with county staff throughout the construction and operation of the facility. “
Longroad acquired the development project from First Solar last year and has since put all the elements in place for a successful deployment, the main components are as follows:
- EPC contract with Swinerton Renewable Energy
- Powering panels with First Solar, using Series 6 technology
- UPS power supply with power electronics
- Tracker supply with NEXTracker
Closure of KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. and Santander Corporate & Investment Banking $ 333 million of the credit facilities for the project and acted as the coordinating lead arrangers. US Bank is the sole tax capital investor.
“This is the tenth transaction between Longroad and KeyBanc Capital Markets,” said Daniel Brun, Managing Director of Utility, Power and Renewables. “We are delighted to have a relationship with an experienced renewable energy developer like Longroad and are optimistic about extending the partnership even further in the future.”
“Financing renewable energy projects is a key skill and priority for Santander in the United States and around the world, and we are very proud to support Longroad and AIP in their clean energy efforts that will create jobs to support the economy, ”said Nuno andrade, Managing Director and Head of Structured Finance for North America within the Corporate & Investment Banking group of Santander.
“We are delighted to expand our partnership with Longroad, increase solar capacity and support economic development in the Central Valley,” said Adam altenhofen, Vice President of Renewable Energy Investments with US Bancorp Community Development Corporation, the tax fairness and community investment arm of US Bank. “Being responsible stewards of the environment is important to the US bank, and investing in solar power is one of the main ways of doing this.”
Prospero I, 379 MWdirect current, Andrews County, Texas
In May 2019, Longroad announced the funding and notice to proceed with the Prospero I solar project, one of the largest solar farms in the United States. The project has been under construction since then and is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2020. The Prospero I solar farm covers 4,640 acres and is expected to deliver over $ 21 million in property taxes, of which more than $ 12 million at the Andrews Independent School District. At its peak, the project employed more than 400 people during construction. All in all, the project expects to pay more than $ 24 million in salaries over the life of the project.
First Solar, NEXTracker and TMEIC are all project providers; Swinerton Renewable Energy is constructing the project under an EPC agreement. The project is the subject of an energy-only PPA with Shell Energy North America (SENA).
Facebook is the sole tax capital investor and, along with SENA, will share the renewable energy attributes generated by the project’s power generation. CIT is the lead arranger and coordinator for the construction loan. Other banks include Silicon Valley Bank, Zions Bancorporation NA, National Australia Bank Ltd, Landesbank Hessen-Thuringen Girozentrale (Helaba), Rabobank, and Commerzbank.
Longroad’s subsidiary, Longroad Energy Services, will provide construction management, asset management, operations and maintenance monitoring and remote monitoring services to Little Bear and Prospero I over the long term.
Both projects are considered critical infrastructure and are therefore not impacted by recent COVID-19 restrictions. Swinerton has implemented COVID-19 best practices at each site.
About Longroad Energy Holdings, LLC
Longroad Energy Holdings, LLC is focused on the development of renewable energy projects, operating assets and services. Today, Longroad has 1.1 GW of operational and under construction wind and solar projects across the United States. Its service subsidiary, Longroad Energy Services, operates and manages a total of 2.6 GW comprised of these projects plus 1.5 GW of wind and solar projects on behalf of third parties. Longroad is owned by the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, Infratil Limited and the Longroad management team.
PKA is one of the largest providers of pension services in Denmark. Their 320,000 members work mainly in the public sector. PKA invests around 300 billion Danish kroner ($ 43.3 billion) on behalf of their members. PKA is particularly focused on investing in projects that help mitigate the effects of climate change and have a positive impact on society. They invested around 30 billion Danish kroner ($ 4.3 billion) in climate-related projects.
PenSam is a Danish labor market pension fund which operates occupational schemes for people in the fields of elderly care, cleaning, technical services and educational care in Danish municipalities, regions and private companies, combining a total base of 417,000 members. On their behalf, PenSam invests approximately 135 billion Danish kroner ($ 19.8 billion).
Originally established as PKA AIP in 2012, AIP has grown into an independent investment manager dedicated to managing direct investments by institutional investors in energy and infrastructure assets in Europe and the United States. To date, AIP has invested USD $ 3.5 billion and the goal for the coming years is to invest around USD $ 700-900 million per year.
SOURCE Longroad Energy