Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE) has closed $58.5 million in construction financing and secured tax equity commitments for its Rabbitbrush Solar Facility, located in Kern County, Calif.
Wells Fargo served as the administrative agent on the construction financing, and Silicon Valley Bank and MUFG served as joint lead arrangers. Wells Fargo served as green structuring agent, and Wells Fargo, Silicon Valley Bank and MUFG also were the bookrunners. The debt was issued under the Green Loan Principles, which aims to facilitate and support environmentally sustainable economic activity. J.P. Morgan provided approximately $12.5 million in tax equity financing and has agreed to invest an additional approximately $50 million once the project is operational, which is expected to occur in August 2022.
The Rabbitbrush Solar Project is currently under construction and, when completed, will have a solar generation capacity of 100 MW. The project also integrates a 20 MW, 50 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS). The project utilizes 415,000 photovoltaic modules provided by U.S.-based First Solar.
“We are pleased to have secured financing for the Rabbitbrush facility, which will be LRE’s first financing for a solar and BESS facility,” comments Chris Loehr, LRE’s CFO. “This is the first of many LRE solar and BESS financings to come as we build out the contracted pipeline in 2022 and 2023. We appreciate the strong support from our offtake partners and participating financial institutions, and we look forward to working together throughout the lifecycle of the Rabbitbrush project.”
Energy generated by the project will be provided to not-for-profit, community-owned electricity providers Central Coast Community Energy and Silicon Valley Clean Energy through two previously announced 15-year power purchase agreements.