CohnReznick helped line up financing for California solar project

CohnReznick Capital Markets Securities (CRCMS) said Feb. 6 that it has worked out an agreement with 8minutenergy Renewables and sPower on their utility-scale Redwood Solar Farm cluster in Kern County, Calif.

The 72.9 MW (dc) aggregated solar project has signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Southern California Edison (SCE), Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and the City of Palo Alto.

8minutenergy will team with sPower to build Redwood Solar Farms with a Commercial Operation Date (COD) in the third quarter of 2015, CohnReznick noted. CRCMS was able to identify Macquarie (USA) Inc. as a provider of development capital for the project in order to bring the project to a construction-ready stage. 8minutenergy also contributed development capital to the projects.

“CohnReznick Capital Markets worked jointly with Macquarie Capital and 8minutenergy over the last year to help deliver these projects to the marketplace. This was a great opportunity to utilize each group’s specific abilities to collectively bring these projects to fruition,” said CRCMS Managing Director Conor McKenna. “We are excited to have facilitated the development of these assets and to broaden the development of utility-scale solar in the U.S.”

The agreement between CRCMS, sPower and 8minutenergy was transacted with 8minutenergy’s wholly-owned subsidiaries 65HK 8me LLC, 67RK 8me LLC, and 87RL 8me LLC. The agreement process was led by Macquarie Capital. Financial details were not disclosed.

CohnReznick said it offers a comprehensive financial advisory platform for the renewable energy industry, providing solutions for tax equity, equity, debt, asset sales or purchases. The company represents financial institutions, infrastructure funds, strategic participants (IPPs and utilities) and more than 60 wind, solar, biomass and other alternative energy developers nationwide.

A fourth project in this cluster is currently in the works

8minutenergy Renewables and SPower had announced on Jan. 28 that construction will begin in the first quarter of this year on three solar facilities in the 72.9 MW (dc) Redwood Solar Farm cluster. The construction of the first three solar facilities in 8minutenergy’s Redwood Solar Farm cluster include:

  • 65HK 8me LLC (Hayworth Solar Farm, 33.26 MW dc);
  • 67RK 8me LLC (Redcrest Solar Farm, 20.86 MW dc); and
  • 87RL 8me LLC (Woodmere Solar Farm, 18.75 MW dc).

A fourth project in Kern County, the 133 MW dc (100 MW ac) Springbok Solar Farm, is being developed by 8minutenergy through its wholly-owned subsidiary, 62SK 8me LLC. Springbok has signed a PPA with the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) on behalf of its participating member, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).

“We are pleased to work with sPower to build the first three projects in the Redwood Solar Farm cluster,” said Martin Hermann, chief executive officer of 8minutenergy Renewables. “We look forward to completing construction and to delivering clean renewable power. We are excited about developing the remaining capacity of our other solar projects in Kern County.”

Said Ryan Creamer, sPower’s CEO: “The projects we’ll develop with 8minutenergy will provide construction and operations jobs and revenues for local communities – all while helping to reduce carbon emissions and delivering affordable, sustainable energy to California rate payers.”

“8minutenergy is thrilled that our close collaboration with sPower and Kern County officials is bringing these projects to fruition,” said Tom Buttgenbach, president of 8minutenergy Renewables. “We are proud that the Redwood Solar Farm cluster will generate hundreds of jobs and millions in tax and other revenue for Kern County, and of our support for community programs in the area. We look forward to developing the Redwood Solar cluster, and Springbok Solar Farm as well.”

The solar power systems for Redwood Solar Farms will be comprised of state-of-the-art solar photovoltaic modules, related power electronics, and other components including an advanced tracking system that follows the sun to maximize energy production. Macquarie Capital’s Power, Utilities and Renewables team advised on the project and, along with 8minutenergy, provided the development capital. CohnReznick was co-advisor.

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, sPower is a leading independent power producer (IPP) that owns and/or operates more than 130 utility and distributed electrical generation systems across the United States. With greater than a gigawatt between construction and pipeline, sPower is active in developing renewable assets in any stage of development in North America and the United Kingdom. sPower is a portfolio company of Fir Tree Partners, a leading global investment fund.

8minutenergy Renewables develops, finances, engineers, constructs, holds, operates and maintains solar projects. To date, it has been awarded over 1,150 MW in PPAs; secured more than 1,200 MW in General Interconnection Agreements (GIA); obtained Conditional Use Permits (CUP) for more than 10,000 acres; and has 15,000 acres of land under contract. 8minutenergy has offices in Los Angeles, Folsom, San Francisco, San Diego and El Centro, California.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.