sPower wraps up financing for firm’s largest solar project to date

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Image: sPower's existing Lancaster solar farm in California. Image: sPower.

US independent power producer (IPP) sPower has concluded financing for its largest project to date after securing a US$700 million construction/term loan.

Nine separate banks committed capital for the 620MWdc Spotsylvania Solar Energy Center in Virginia, which will see phases come online this year. Full completion is expected in the summer of 2021.

The full financing package for the project now exceeds $1 billion after sPower closed a US$350 million tax equity commitment from Wells Fargo earlier this year.

Brian Callaway, VP of structured finance/M&A at sPower, said financing and constructing the largest project in the company’s portfolio represents an “incredible feat” in today’s environment.

“The resilience of the sPower team and the commitment of our financing partners to us and the renewable energy space in these challenging times is nothing short of remarkable,” he added.

HSBC was sole coordinating lead arranger for the project, and the financing included eight additional mandated lead arrangers: La Caixa, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, Citibank, Société Générale, Landesbank and Banco de Sabadell.

sPower initially received approval for the development from Spotsylvania’s board of supervisors in April last year, overcoming weeks of opposition from the local community.

CEO Ryan Creamer said the project brings “real economic opportunity” to Spotsylvania County and the region during a “critical time”.

It is estimated the facility will offset approximately 825,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year and generate 700 new jobs during the construction phase and 20–25 full-time positions during operations.

sPower owns and operates more than 150 renewable generation systems across the US. The Salt Lake City-headquartered firm operates a wind, solar and storage portfolio of nearly 2GW, with 15GW of projects currently under development.

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