Leeward Renewable Energy closed $420 million in construction-to-term financing from MUFG Bank and a $195 million tax equity commitment from Wells Fargo for its Big Plain Solar Facility in Ohio and its Oak Trail Solar Facility in North Carolina.
Once completed, the solar facilities will provide a combined 296 MW of renewable energy to Verizon Communications under a long-term power purchase agreement. Both projects are expected to reach commercial operation by mid-2023.
“We are pleased to have secured financing for our Big Plain and Oak Trail projects, marking another significant milestone in the development of our solar energy portfolio,” commented Chris Loehr, Senior Vice President of Finance at Leeward. “These agreements demonstrate the continued confidence financial institutions hold in our project portfolio and performance as we continue to execute on our contracted 2022 – 2023 pipeline.”
MUFG served as the green loan structuring agent, coordinating lead arranger, and administrative agent for the construction to term financing, arranging financing commitments from eight financial institutions and Export Development Canada.
Leeward owns and operates a portfolio of 24 renewable energy facilities across nine states totaling approximately 2.5 GW of generating capacity. They are actively developing and contracting new wind, solar, and energy storage projects in energy markets across the U.S., with 1.9 GW contracted and 20 GW under development and construction, spanning over 100 projects.
According to Mercom’s 9M and Q3 2022 Solar Funding and M&A Report, announced large-scale project funding in the first nine months of 2022 came to $22.8 billion in 128 project funding deals, a 97% increase compared to $11.6 billion in 138 projects in 9M 2021.
In July, Leeward Renewable Energy closed $58.5 million in financing and tax equity commitments for its Rabbitbrush Solar Project in Kern County, California.