Lightsource bp closes on 130MW Alabama project, will increase state’s solar capacity by 20%


Once completed, the Black Bear Solar project will increase Alabama’s solar capacity by more than 20%. Image: Lightsource bp.

Lightsource bp has closed on a US$100 million financing package for the 130MW Black Bear Solar energy project in Montgomery County, Alabama, which once complete will increase the state’s total installed solar capacity by more than 20%, according to Lightsource bp.

Located 15 miles from Alabama Municipal Electric Authority’s (AMEA) headquarters in Montgomery, the project will supply cost-effective, solar power to AMEA’s 11 member utilities located across the state that serve around 350,000 customers.

The tax equity investment for the project was secured from a Minneapolis-based US bank, while debt for the project was provided by Spanish banking giant Banco Santander and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), a global financial group headquartered in Tokyo.

Kevin Smith, CEO of the Americas at Lightsource bp, said the project was a ”testament to the cost-effectiveness and bankability of solar energy” as he lauded the calibre of investors.

“World-class lenders are supporting this project, and that AMEA has agreed to purchase the electricity on a long-term basis to the substantial benefit of its members.”

Last month (22 November), Lightsource bp landed a supply deal with US thin film manufacturer First Solar to provide Lightsource bp and energy major bp with up to 5.4GW of its thin film modules. Lightsource bp and bp have placed firm orders for approximately 4.4GWdc of modules, with options for an additional 1GW, as they plan further developments across the US.

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