Quinbrook secures US$1.9bn financing deal for major US solar-plus-storage project

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The Gemini project has had a 25 year PPA with Nevada public utility NV Energy in place since 2020. Image: Primergy.

Investment fund Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners and its subsidiary Primergy Solar have closed a US$1.9 billion financing deal for a 690MWac/380MW hybrid solar-plus-storage project in the US.

The Gemini Solar + Storage project, approved by the US Department of Interior in 2020 and located in Clark County, Nevada, will have a total capacity of 690MWac/966MWdc of solar PV and 380MW/1,416MWh of battery storage.

The financing deal consists of US$1.3 billion in credit facilities, including a construction/term loan, tax equity bridge loan and letter of credit facility. It also includes US$532 million in tax equity commitments being provided by Truist Bank and Bank of America, which Primergy said was the “largest single-asset tax equity solar financing ever completed in the US”.

The Gemini project was developed by Primergy, a wholly owned portfolio company of Quinbrook that was launched to oversee the project. Expected to be complete and operational in late 2023, Gemini will deliver renewable energy under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Nevada public utility NV Energy.

Quinbrook, which recently acquired a 350MW solar-plus-storage project in the UK, said the Gemini project had to overcome several challenges but that, once complete, it would “showcase the many benefits of pairing large scale solar power with storage and will guide the way for many similar projects to come from the Primergy team.”

“With the suppliers and contractors engaged and the financing secured, we are ready to begin construction on this unprecedented project,” said Ty Daul, CEO of Primergy. “We look forward to scaling this model on our many upcoming projects.”

The construction facilities were led by four companies – KeyBanc Capital Markets, Inc., MUFG Bank Ltd., Bank of America, N.A. and Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, New York Branch.

The four have syndicated the credit facilities to 19 lenders, and Quinbrook and Primergy arranged the US$95 million mezzanine debt facility from Voya Investment Management.

Paragon Energy Capital served as the tax equity advisor and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe was legal counsel to Primergy. Hunton Andrews Kurth provided tax equity legal counsel to Truist, Milbank LLP provided tax equity counsel to Bank of America, Allen & Overy provided legal counsel to Voya and Winston & Strawn LLP provided legal counsel to the lenders.

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