AMERICAS ROUND-UP: National Grid Renewables raises US$98m, Westbridge Energy buys 75% stake in solar and storage developer

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Nexamp will construct and operate a project, with the electricity generated going towards powering the ski resorts operations. Image: Nexamp.

A round up of the latest news from the Americas, including National Gird Renewables closing a US$98 million raise, a ski resort investing in solar via a partnership with Nexamp and Westbridge Energy buying a controlling stake in a solar and storage company.

National Grid Renewables closes US$98m raise to support project development

7 December 2021: National Grid Renewables has closed a US$98 million tax equity financing agreement from Bank of America to support its 200MW Prairie Wolf Solar Project.

Located in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) market, the project in Coles County, Illinois began construction earlier this year. Bank of America is the sole tax equity investor for the project.

Earlier this year, Bank of America committed to an additional US$1 trillion in financing by 2030 to support the green transition.

“In just two years, National Grid Renewables has raised over US$550 million in tax equity investments in support of the company’s buildout of renewable generation facilities,” said Blake Nixon, president of National Grid Renewables.

Ski resort partners with Nexamp for 7.36MW solar project

7 December 2021: Saddleback Mountain Ski Resort has partnered with clean energy company Nexamp to construct a 7.36MW community solar project across a 31-acre site. Nexamp will construct and operate the project.

Saddleback owner Arctaris Impact Investors identified solar as a greener way to power its activities at the resort in Maine. Saddleback led the development effort which included site selection, permitting, and obtaining an interconnection agreement with Central Maine Power (CMP).

Construction on the solar farm is expected to begin in early 2022 and is on track to be generating clean energy for the CMP grid by the start of the 2022-23 ski season.

Westbridge Energy buys 75% stake in solar and storage developer

6 December 2021: Westbridge Energy Corporation has acquired a 75% controlling interest in Sunnynook Solar Energy Inc., which is developing a 236MW solar PV and 100MW battery energy storage system (BESS) project in Sunnynook, Alberta, Canada.

The project has secured a long-term solar lease covering approximately 940 acres. It is currently in Stage 1 of the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) interconnection process, with environmental studies underway.

Westbridge now controls three utility-scale solar projects totalling 735MW, including two Alberta projects and a recently announced 221MW development project in Accalia Point, Texas. Moreover, the Company has also initiated two BESS projects in Alberta which could add an additional 200MW of battery storage capacity.

Alabama Power gets approval for 80MW solar farm

7 December 2021: Alabama Power and Mercedes Benz US International (MBUSI) have received approval from the Alabama Public Service Commission (APSC) for the proposed 80MW Letohatchee Solar Project in Lowndes County.

The project will cover a significant portion of the electric needs for MBUSI’s Vance and Bibb County campuses. Under the 15-year contract, MBUSI will also receive all the renewable energy credits (RECs) from the facility.

Alabama Power will receive the entire electric output from the project pursuant to a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA). Commercial operation is expected to begin in March 2024.

To date, APSC has approved about 250MW of solar projects under its certification process.

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