SunEdison yield co to benefit from award of California distributed generation projects

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SunEdison has been awarded 17.7MW of distributed generation across 30 PV projects in California, with investors in the company’s ‘yield co’ TerraForm Power likely to benefit.

The US-headquartered integrated PV project development and technology company was handed the projects by the regional government of California’s Alameda County. Awarded under the Regional Renewable Energy Procurement project (R-REP), which is led by Alameda County, the projects will also be installed in two other counties, Contra Costa and San Mateo.

In total, the R-REP should lead to 19 public agencies across several counties in California’s Bay Area installing 186 facilities, according to information issued by Alameda County’s General Services Agency in February. In total this would mean around 31MW of solar being installed at locations including University of California Berkeley and the City of Oakland. The idea behind the R-REP is that local public agencies can procure renewable energy systems collaboratively. Among the expected benefits of this method of procurement are reductions in transaction and administrative costs, standardising of documentation and financing, the environmental benefits of clean energy and stimulus to local economies and job markets.

SunEdison said it will work with nine different public agencies across the three counties to make each project fit its site-specific needs. They will include ground mount, rooftop and canopy solar arrays. The 30 projects will produce an expected 27,700,000kWh of energy annually, according to the company. The sites are expected to begin construction before the end of the year, for completion and connection by the end of 2015. SunEdison’s Renewable Operation Center (ROC) will monitor and manage the plants.

TerraForm Power, the yield co investment vehicle, will own the completed projects alongside SunEdison. TerraForm was launched this summer with US$535.5 million from an initial public offering (IPO) and US$65 million from a private placement of shares. A yield co seeks to securitise energy generation assets, setting up a publicly-traded company which bundles the assets into one investment fund that pays out a coupon. According to SunEdison, the freshly announced projects that go into TerraForm Power’s ownership will contribute to its cash available for distribution (CAFD) commitment.

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