Macquarie Group and developer 8minutenergy Renewables have closed on US$30 million worth of financing for a 90MW solar farm in California.
A subsidiary of California-based 8minutenergy Renewables, 61LK 8ME, signed the deal with Macquarie Capital. A power purchase agreement (PPA) for the Redwood Solar Farm in Kern County has already been signed with the California city of Palo Alto along with two utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE).
Redwood Solar Farm will be located on 259 hectares of what 8minutenergy describes as “low-productivity farmland”, with construction on the project scheduled to begin towards the end of this year.
The plant is expected to be connected by the middle of 2015. According to 8minutenergy Renewables, the company actively uses its own proprietary analysis process and tools to seek out optimal power plant sites for accelerating permitting with utilities and local authorities. To that end, 8minutenergy claims its solar farm projects are all located on “disturbed, low value farm land”.
Chief executive of 8minuteenergy Renewables, Martin Hermann, said that since “one of the world's leading global financing firms has vetted and invested in one of our projects”, the deal was a “major milestone”.
He went on to say that the project was one of several that his company planned to “get online” before the US Investment Tax Credit (ITC) expires in 2016. The company’s president, Tom Buttgenbach claimed that construction of the Redwood Solar Farm project would contribute 250 direct and 450 indirect jobs to the local economy of Kern County.