Clearway closes debt financing for 192MW California solar facility

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California-based civil engineering firm Sukut was hired by construction contractor McCarthy Building Companies for the clearing and grading of the solar project. Source: Sukut

Clearway Energy Group has closed debt financing for the 192MW Rosamond Central solar project in Kern County, California.

On Wednesday, the renewables developer said that construction of the plant by McCarthy Building Companies will be finished by the end of the year.

Rosamond Central is contracted to a number of municipalities and community choice aggregators (CCA), through deals including 15-year agreements with East Bay Community Energy (for 112MW of power) and the Clean Power Alliance (40MW).

 “Who says big renewables can’t get financed by CCAs???” Nick Chaset, CEO of East Bay Community Energy, tweeted on Wednesday. “Congrats to Clearway Energy team and East Bay Community Energy teams for getting this done.”

Clearway claims to already operate 947MW of renewable energy assets in Kern County, racking up approximately US$20 million on local property taxes annually.

German bank NordLB acted as the coordinating lead arranger for the debt financing, while Utah’s Zions Bank and California's CIT were joint lead arrangers.

CIT recently arranged US$200 million in financing for Clearway for a 76MW portfolio of community solar assets spread across Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New York.

The developer is also active in Hawaii. In September, the company commissioned three grid-scale solar power projects on the island of O'ahu.

The North Rosamond solar project, sold by Clearway to Duke Energy Renewables last year, came online in June.

The prospects and challenges of solar's new era in the US will take centre stage at Large Scale Solar USA 2020 (Austin, Texas, on 23-24 June 2020).

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