Construction starts on second Springbok solar project in California

8minutenergy Renewables LLC and an affiliate of D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments LLC (DESRI) on Dec. 14 announced the completion of permitting, financial closing, and start of construction of the 191-MW dc (150 MW ac) Springbok 2 Solar Farm, located 70 miles north of Los Angeles in Kern County, California.

8minutenergy has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the Springbok 2 Solar Farm with the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA), on behalf of its participating member, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).

DESRI invested the majority of the equity in the project and arranged senior debt financing from a syndicate of lenders led by Santander Bank N.A., which also included CIT Bank NA, KeyBank N.A., HSBC Bank, CoBank, ACB, Siemens Financial Services and Citi. In addition, DESRI arranged a commitment for tax equity financing from State Street Bank & Trust Co. and Citi.

DESRI and 8minutenergy in July began construction on the 137 MW dc (105 MW ac) Springbok 1 Solar Farm nearby. Springbok 2 Solar Farm is a utility-scale solar generation facility sited on up to about 700 acres of farmland taken out of production more than 20 years ago. 8minutenergy began developing the project in 2011, and it is expected to reach commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016. As with Springbok 1, 8minutenergy selected Swinerton Renewable Energy as the engineering, procurement and construction firm of Springbok 2, with affiliates of 8minutenergy and DESRI overseeing construction management and further development.

“The recent signing of the Springbok 2 PPA and the completion of permitting and beginning of construction are yet more milestones that reflect 8minutenergy’s record of success,” said 8minutenergy Chief Executive Officer Martin Hermann. “We are proud to have established ourselves as the leading independent solar provider in the U.S. with 1,400 MW of contracted projects, and we’re pleased to sell our second project to DESRI this year.”

“DESRI is thrilled to add another world-class solar project to its portfolio,” said Bryan Martin, managing director and head of U.S. Private Equity for the D. E. Shaw group. “We have enjoyed working with SCPPA, LADWP, and the 8minutenergy team to develop a facility that we expect will provide clean power to Los Angeles for years to come.”

“The Springbok projects are impactful on many fronts, from helping Los Angeles secure a clean energy future to creating an estimated 300 direct and 400 indirect jobs for each project during construction in Kern County,” said Tom Buttgenbach, President of 8minutenergy.

The solar power system for Springbok 2 Solar Farm 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.

8minutenergy Renewables develops, finances, engineers, constructs, owns, operates and maintains solar projects. To date, 8minutenergy Renewables has been awarded over more than 1,400 MW in PPAs; secured more than 1,500 MW in Generation Interconnection Agreements; and has secured over 20,000 acres of land bank. 8minutenergy has offices in Folsom, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Dallas, Singapore and New Delhi, India.

D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments and its affiliates seek to acquire and operate long-term contracted renewable energy assets in North America. DESRI is a member of the D. E. Shaw group, a global investment and technology development firm with approximately $39 billion in investment capital as of November 1, 2015, and offices in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Swinerton Renewable Energy offers engineering, procurement, construction, and SOLV services for solar photovoltaic plants throughout North America to a diverse range of clients. It has delivered over 850 MW solar projects and its SOLV team manages over 1.5 GW of PV plants.

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.