US ROUND-UP: Invenergy secures construction funds for 1.3GW site, 130MW Strata portfolio funded

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Invenergy completes construction financing for first phase of 1,310MW project

13 January: Invenergy has completed construction financing for the first phase of its Samson Solar Energy Center in northeast Texas.

This includes 250MW of the total 1,310MW project, which is to be the largest solar energy facility in the US once complete. It is being constructed and will commence operation in five phases, and is slated to be fully operational in 2023.

Santander acted as Admin Agent, Coordinating Lead Arranger, and Bookrunner and Societe Generale and CaixaBank acted as Joint Lead Arrangers for the financing, which includes a construction loan, letter of credit facility, and back-leverage term loan.

In November 2020, it was revealed that Google and Honda would be among the offtakers of the project with agreements for 100MW and 200MW respectively. Other offtakers include telecoms and entertainment giant AT&T, which has secured the largest purchase agreement at 500MW, as well as McDonalds which has an agreement for 160MW.

CIT leads US$69m financing round for Strata portfolio

13 January: CIT’s Power and Energy business has led a US$69 million financing round for a solar portfolio of over 130MW owned and operated by Strata Solar.

The portfolio consists of 23 operating solar assets, the majority of which are located in North Carolina. Output from these assets is covered by purchase agreements, ensuring a steady demand for the electricity generated.

Mike Lorusso, managing director and group head of CIT’s Power and Energy business, praised Strata for its “well-earned reputation for excellence”, stating CIT is “pleased to support their continuing efforts”.

In 2018, Strata celebrated the opening of what was claimed to be the largest solar project in Washington, with the Adams Nielson Solar Farm comprising of 81,700 solar panels and having a projected generation capacity of 48,000 MWh per year.

Land in Volusia County purchased for 300MW+ PV site

13 January: A consortium looking to bring a 300MW+ solar PV farm to Volusia County, Florida has entered a purchase contract for 6,253 acres.

The Avalon Park Group has formed the consortium with Switzerland and Singapore-based partners, with CEO Beat Kahli stating the “time has come” for solar PV.

The land for the new asset is located around 5 miles west of Avalon Park, Daytona Beach on State Road 40 and is adjacent to the Tiger Bay State Forest.

The electricity generated by the solar farm is to not only support the sustainability of the Avalon park Daytona Beach community, Kahli said, but also provide a renewable energy source for the entire region to utilise.

Additional sustainability plans include a biomass and agrivoltaic farm, an advanced wetland treatment park to assist in treating excess greywater.

Summit Ridge Energy beefs up portfolio with 25 community solar sites going live in Q4 2020

13 January: Summit Ridge Energy has revealed that 25 of its community solar farms achieved commercial operation across Illinois during Q4 of 2020, bringing its total in the state to 42.

The company – which owns over 90 community solar projects across the United States – plans to start construction on another 25 by Q2 2021. By the end of this year, it will have close to 200MWdc of operation community solar across the country.

Steve Raeder, CEO of Summit Ridge Energy, referenced the “economic damage” caused by COVID-19, stating that the company’s ability to move forwards with these projects in spite of this is “testament to the demand for affordable solar energy”.

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