Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE) has closed approximately $260 million in construction financing and secured tax equity commitments for its Chaparral Springs Solar + BESS Facility, located in Kern County, Calif.
Wells Fargo served as the administrative, green structuring agent and coordinating lead arranger on the construction financing, and MUFG and Silicon Valley Bank served as joint lead arrangers. The debt was issued under the Green Loan Principles, which aim to facilitate and support environmentally sustainable economic activity. Additionally, J.P. Morgan provided approximately $29 million of tax equity investment and committed to investing an additional approximately $114 million once the project is operational, which is expected to occur in September 2023.
The Chaparral Springs Solar + BESS Facility is currently under construction and, when completed, will provide 174 MW of renewable energy to two not-for-profit, community-owned electricity providers, Peninsula Clean Energy and Valley Clean Energy, through two 15-year power purchase agreements. Chaparral Springs will also deliver electricity to the two providers from its 88 MW, 352 MWh battery storage system, which will further improve the resiliency of the region’s clean power grid.
The financing for the Chaparral Springs Solar + BESS facility is an extension of LRE’s previously announced financing for its Rabbitbrush solar and storage project, also in Kern County, and further expands the company’s generation capacity in the county and its growing portfolio of three integrated solar-plus-storage facilities.
“We are pleased to close financing on our Chaparral Springs project and our continuing expansion of our relationship with each of these leading financial institutions as we grow our solar-plus-storage presence in California,” says Chris Loehr, senior vice president of finance. “This milestone follows the successful development and operation of our Rabbitbrush Solar project, which is adjacent to Chaparral Springs, and further demonstrates our commitment to excellence and ability to deliver on our pipeline of contracted projects. We value the continued support from our financial partners as we continue to drive our sustainability mission in all we do.”