Leeward Renewable Energy powers up 200MW Texas PV site

Leeward’s 100MW Rabbitbrush solar facility in California. Credit: Leeward Renewable Energy

Leeward Renewable Energy has commenced commercial operations at the 200MW Horizon solar PV project in Texas.

The project, which completed construction this week, will supply power to telecommunications company Verizon Communications under a power purchase agreement (PPA) framework signed in 2022. The two companies previously signed a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for a project in North Carolina, which Leeward inaugurated in August 2023.

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Leeward closed financing for the Horizon project back in March 2023, sealing two deals worth a collective US$180 million – US$75 million in green loan construction financing from MUFG and a US$105 million tax equity commitment from Wells Fargo.  

The company said that the project will incorporate elements of agrivoltaics, including grazing sheep for vegetation control and biodiversity management. This practice “increases land productivity, provides farmers with supplementary income, and contributes to advancing the transition to clean energy,” the company said in a statement.

In April 2022 Leeward Renewables signed a 1GW, multi-year supply deal with US Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) thin film solar manufacturer First Solar. Under the deal, First Solar would supply Leeward’s US solar project pipeline over the course of 2023 and 2024.

Outside of Texas, where the developer is headquartered, Leeward raised US$580 million last November for a number of PV projects, including a 179MW project in Arizona. This site – the White Wing project – is expected to come online in the second half of this year.

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