Canadian Solar lines up financing for 75-MW Astoria 2 project in California

Canadian Solar (NASDAQ: CSIQ) on Jan. 5 announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Recurrent Energy, closed on a tax equity investment commitment with General Electric (NYSE: GE) unit GE Energy Financial Services for the 75-MW (ac) Astoria 2 solar project.

Recurrent Energy also closed a debt facility for the Astoria 2 project, which is urrently under construction in California. Recurrent Energy will be the managing member of the Astoria 2 solar power project and plans to own and operate the facility.

Santander Bank N.A. was the coordinating lead arranger of a five-member bank club including NORD/LB, Rabobank, Key Bank, and CIT Bank, which will provide project-level construction debt, a letter of credit facility and a back-leveraged term loan facility, totaling about $180 million.

“The Astoria 2 transaction completes the financing of Recurrent Energy’s late-stage portfolio and is our second transaction with GE,” said Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar. “The support of this bank club and the expansion of our work with GE reflects our ability to consistently deliver high quality solar assets.”

“Investing in the Astoria 2 project builds upon our relationships with Recurrent Energy and Canadian Solar and continues the expansion of our global renewable energy footprint,” says Kevin Walsh, managing director and head of Renewables at GE Energy Financial Services. 

The Astoria 2 project follows GE Energy Financial Services’ investment in the Astoria project and builds upon its investment commitments of $2 billion in nearly 2 GW of solar power projects worldwide.

“Canadian Solar has executed on a remarkable pipeline of U.S. solar projects in 2015 with the support of Santander,” said Jorge Camina, Head of Project & Acquisition Finance at Santander. “The structuring of this complex transaction with the Company, GE and the other lenders is another major achievement for Santander that will contribute to creating jobs and clean energy.”

The Astoria 2 project, located in Kern County, is expected to reach commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016 and will utilize GE 1500V inverters. The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the facility will be sold under power purchase agreements. The Astoria 2 project is adjacent to the 100-MW Astoria solar project, which closed financing in November 2015 and is expected to reach commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Recurrent Energy has more than 4 GW of solar projects in development in North America. Founded in 2001 in Canada, Canadian Solar is a leading manufacturer of solar photovoltaic modules and a provider of solar energy solutions. In the past 14 years, Canadian Solar has successfully deployed over 12 GW of premium quality modules in over 70 countries around the world.

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.