Greenbacker US$148 million tax equity financing for ‘one of first’ US solar projects to get PTC

An aerial view of 104 MWdc / 80 MWac Graphite Solar, owned by Greenbacker and developed by rPlus Energies, which recently entered commercial operation in Carbon County, UT. Image: Greenbacker.

Renewables asset manager Greenbacker Capital Management (GCM) has completed a US$148 million tax equity financing commitment with RBC Community Investment.

The commitment, which the company said was one of the very first tax equity deals to utilise the production tax credit (PTC), will help finance GCM’s solar PV portfolio of projects.

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Already available for decades for wind projects, the Inflation Reduction Act extended the PTC to solar PV projects which could be US$0.025/kWh for the first ten years of its lifespan.

Among the solar projects that will be financed with the tax equity commitment with RBC Community Investment is a 240MWdc utility-scale solar project in Utah, which started construction last November and is developed by Salt Lake City-based renewables developer rPlus Energies.

“Partnering with RBC Community Investments to complete one of the first ever solar PTC deals and finance our largest project to date is more than an important milestone for GCM, it’s an essential step forward for the energy transition,” said Charles Wheeler, President of GCM. “This is proof positive that the landmark IRA legislation is accelerating a clean energy future.”

The announcement of the financing comes less than a week before the one-year anniversary of the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act on 16 August 2022. As solar projects slowly start using either the PTC or investment tax credit (ITC), securing the entirety of the domestic adders might be more complicated than expected in the near future.

GCM was advised on the deal by Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton; Allen & Overy represented RBC Capital Markets.

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