US ROUND-UP: NextEra Energy Partners expands solar portfolio, AEP Energy Partners seeks PPAs

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Image: NextEra.

A round-up of the latest news from the US solar sector, as NextEra Energy Partners builds its green energy portfolio, AEP Energy Partners seeks PPAs and stocks drop in the wake of election results.

 

NextEra Energy Partners adds to US renewables portfolio

4 November 2020: NextEra Energy Partners (NEP) has secured a deal to acquire a 40% stake in a 1GW utility-scale renewables portfolio and a 100% interest in a 100MW solar-plus-storage project.

The company will purchase the interests in the US assets from a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources for approximately US$320 million. Following the acquisition, which is expected to close before year-end, NEP will contribute its interests in the projects into a new portfolio alongside four of its existing green energy assets.

Jim Robo, NEP CEO, said the acquisition of the renewable energy assets, including the partnership's first battery storage project, will “enhance the diversity of the partnership's existing portfolio”.

Formed by NextEra Energy, NEP is described as a “growth-oriented limited partnership” that acquires, manages and owns contracted clean energy projects.

NextEra Energy Resources said it expects proceeds from the sale to be redeployed into new solar, wind and battery storage opportunities, including its more than 15GW renewables backlog.

 

Solar stocks tumble as election hangs in balance

Solar stocks dropped on Wednesday as ballot counting for the presidential race continues and the prospect of the Democrats flipping the Senate looks increasingly unlikely.

As noted in PV Tech’s Election Live Blog, First Solar saw its stock slip about 9% yesterday as it became apparent Democrats would not complete the trifecta – where the party could win the White House and both Houses of Congress – which would potentially allow it to push through solar-friendly policies and Joe Biden’s US$2 trillion climate plan.

While the future of the US’s energy policy hangs in the balance, many clean energy industry players have lamented the country’s official withdrawal this week from the Paris Agreement. Gregory Wetstone, CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy, said the country is “squandering global credibility and goodwill” as the only state to quit the agreement.

The country can, however, rejoin the accords in February next year, something Joe Biden has repeatedly said would be near the top of his agenda following an election victory.

Click here for the latest US election updates.

 

American Electric Power subsidiary seeks green energy PPAs

4 November 2020: AEP Energy Partners (AEPEP) is seeking power purchase agreements (PPAs) for renewable energy facilities in Texas and Ohio that are set to come online between 2021 and 2023.

The company, which is a subsidiary of utility American Electric Power, has announced it is looking for offtake deals of 12 years or less for solar projects in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

For the Ohio projects, the company is seeking PPAs of ten, 12 or 15 years for solar or wind facilities. Notices of intent to bid are due by 13 November 2020.

AEPEP said it will use the contracted offtake to support the company's growing loads in Ohio and Texas.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, American Electric Power is aiming to add more than 8.6GW of new solar and wind capacity to serve its regulated utility customers by 2030.

 

Cypress Creek refinances 92MW of solar

2 November 2020: US solar developer Cypress Creek Renewables has completed a tax equity buyout and refinancing of project-level debt for 92MW of its PV portfolio in North Carolina, making it the sole owner of these facilities.

BNP Paribas acted as the primary lender and lead arranger for the transaction.

The deal represents the first such tax equity buyout Cypress Creek has completed to date, with the company planning to pursue similar transactions to acquire sole ownership of more projects in the future.

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