D.E. Shaw buys 52-MW solar project in Mississippi from Origis

D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments LLC (DESRI) announced Dec. 15 that it has acquired the 52-MW (ac) Mississippi Solar 2 project from Origis DevCo Inc.

The project site is located three miles away from the town of Sumrall in Lamar County, Mississippi. Promptly following the acquisition, DESRI started construction of the project, which it expects to be completed in the second quarter of 2017.

“We greatly appreciate the effort from all of our partners in helping launch construction on DESRI’s first project in the Southeast,” said Bryan Martin, CEO of DESRI. “We are excited to expand our footprint into Mississippi with a groundbreaking project that we expect will provide both jobs and clean energy to the state’s citizens and businesses.”

“Over more than 25 years, the D. E. Shaw group has built a reputation for investment excellence.” said Guy Vanderhaegen, CEO and President of Origis Energy. “After working to bring this landmark solar facility in Mississippi to this important milestone, we are excited to see the DESRI team complete its development and construction, ensuring its full potential for clean energy generation in the region.”

The project has a 25-year power purchase agreement with the Mississippi Power subsidiary of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO). Mississippi Solar 2 will be among the largest solar projects in the state, and is expected to generate roughly 130 million kilowatt hours of power each year.

“We look forward to working closely with our new partner, DESRI, in the future, and we continue to be excited about the increased amount of renewable energy being placed on the Mississippi Power electric grid,” said Mississippi Power Chairman, President and CEO Anthony Wilson.

Financing for the acquisition and construction of the project was provided by a syndicate of lenders led by Santander Bank, which also included Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank and Siemens Financial Services Inc. In addition, Citi provided a commitment for tax equity financing.

“DESRI has closed and financed a remarkable number of renewable energy projects in the last few years and we are glad to continue supporting them in these efforts,” said Nuno Andrade, Head of Project and Acquisition Finance for North America in global Corporate Banking at Santander.

DEPCOM Power Inc. will serve as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor. In addition, DEPCOM will provide ongoing operations and maintenance services to the facility once it is operational. The project will be built with Hanwha Q CELLS solar panels, SMA inverters, and NexTracker single-axis trackers.

“DEPCOM is proud to be part of the solar development and growth happening in Mississippi,” said Jim Lamon, CEO of DEPCOM. “DESRI and Origis are leaders in the utility-scale solar industry, and DEPCOM is excited to join both companies in making a positive impact on the state, the local economy, and the community.”

DESRI and its affiliates own and manage long-term contracted renewable energy assets in North America with a portfolio of more than 26 projects totaling approximately 1,300 megawatts of capacity. DESRI is a member of the D. E. Shaw group, a global investment and technology development firm with more than $40 billion in investment capital as of Oct. 1, 2016, and offices in North America, Europe and Asia.

DEPCOM Power leverages a highly-experienced solar team, technology agnostic Tier 1 solar modules, and cost-effective balance of system components to provide optimum levels of agility, price and quality for utility-scale solar projects.

Origis Energy provides custom clean energy solutions for utility, commercial and public sector clients. The Origis team has worked to ensure the interests of all stakeholders are upheld in more than 100 projects worldwide totaling 600+ megawatts to date of developed solar capacity. It has offices in the U.S., Brazil and Belgium.

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.