Lightsource bp Closes Tax Equity Investment Deal for 481 MW Solar Projects

From: Mercom India

Lightsource bp, a global utility-scale solar project developer, announced closing a tax equity investment from Wells Fargo and Company for a 481 MW solar project portfolio in the U.S.

The investment of $267 million will support the construction and operation of the two-project portfolio across two states in the U.S.

The financing leverages the Production Tax Credit structure as a tax equity investment was made available for solar in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

The portfolio comprises a 346 MW Oxbow Solar project in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana, with an energy supply agreement with McDonald’s and eBay; and a 135 MW Conway Solar project near Happy, Arkansas, with an energy supply agreement with the Conway Corporation.

Both projects are scheduled to be commissioned at the start of 2023, creating 600 direct construction jobs in the states.

Wells Fargo is the eighth global financial institution to support this portfolio of projects, joining other lenders such as HSBC Bank USA, ING Capital, Societe Generale, NatWest, Intesa Sanpaolo, Standard Chartered Bank, and Allied Irish Banks.

Shane Easter, a Director with Wells Fargo’s Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance group, said, “Providing expertise and capital to important customers like Lightsource bp is part of our commitment to deploy $500 billion in sustainable financing by 2030 to support our customers and communities as they transition to a resilient, equitable and sustainable future.”

Lightsource bp has a presence across 19 countries and developed 282 utility-scale solar projects with 5.7 GW capacity. The company also has a development pipeline of 55 GW.

“This investment is a great example of the positive impact that top tier financial institutions with meaningful commitments to sustainability, such as Wells Fargo, can make to help accelerate our country’s transition to a low-carbon economy and reduce the impacts of climate change that affect lives and livelihoods,” said Kevin Smith, Lightsource bp’s CEO of the Americas. “The new tax credit options and stable policy environment for job growth made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act will further incentivize investment and spur the growth of America’s solar industry.”

According to a report by the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie, overall solar installations across all market segments in the U.S. are likely to triple in size, increasing from 129 GW to 336 GW in the next five years.

Lightsource bp recently closed financing for its 210 MW solar project in Brazil and 515 MW solar projects in Australia.

According to Mercom Capital’s 2022 Solar Funding and M&A Report, the global corporate funding for solar companies, including venture capital, private equity, debt financing, and public markets, amounted to $24.1 billion in 2022, a decrease of 13% year-over-year.