sPower lines up financing for 183 MW of Beacon Solar projects in California

sPower on Nov. 15 announced the Nov. 2 completion of a tax equity investment and construction/term loan totaling $434 million related to its Beacon Solar projects in California.

KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. acted as Coordinating Lead Arranger, with the debt facility provided by CIT Bank N.A., CoBank ACB, Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A., KeyBank N.A., Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (Nord/LB) and Siemens Financial Services Inc. PNC Energy Capital and U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corp. partnered in this landmark deal to provide tax equity. CohnReznick Capital Markets Securities (CRCMS) advised sPower on the transactions.

“The team successfully came together to find creative finance and structuring solutions,” said Ray Henger, sPower SVP, M&A and Structured Finance. “While coordination across this many banks was a challenge, we appreciate how hard our partners worked to close the transaction.”

The monies will be used to finance three solar projects that, when fully operational, will generate 183.4 MW (dc). All three of the Beacon Solar projects, located in Cantil, California, are currently under construction and have 25-year Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).

sPower anticipates that:

  • Beacon 4 (56.5 MW dc) will achieve commercial operations before the end of this month;
  • Beacon 3 (63.0 MW dc) will come online by the end of the year; and
  • Beacon 1 (63.9 MW dc) will follow in the first quarter of 2017.

“Leading investors are drawn to sPower’s demonstrated ability to develop consistently bankable renewable energy projects,” commented David Shipley, sPower CFO. “This most recent financing is critical as we work towards connecting nearly 500 MW to the grid in the next 90 days.”

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, with offices in San Francisco, Long Beach and New York City, sPower is a leading independent power producer (IPP) that owns and operates more than 150 utility and commercial distributed electrical generation systems across the U.S. and the UK (1.3 GW by 2017). sPower is currently constructing the largest solar project supported by a Contract for Differences (CFD), a 103-MW project in California.

sPower had announced in January 2015 a non-exclusive joint development agreement with Hecate Energy to develop and own/operate solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. The first joint initiative was the sale to sPower of a 162-MW (ac) portfolio comprised of three projects – Beacon 1, Beacon 3 and Beacon 4.

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.