Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE), which has closed $58.5million in construction financing and secured tax equity obligations for its Rabbitbrush Solar Facility in Kern County, Calif., Wells Fargo was the administrative agent, while Silicon Valley Bank and MUFG were the joint lead arrangers. Wells Fargo was the green structuring agent. Silicon Valley Bank, Wells Fargo and MUFG were also the bookrunners. The Green Loan Principles, which aim to support and facilitate environmentally sustainable economic activity, were used to issue the debt. J.P. Morgan provided approximately 12.5 million in tax equity financing. The company has also agreed to invest approximately $50 million more once the project is operational. This is expected to happen in August 2022.
The Rabbitbrush Solar Project currently under construction. It will have a total solar generation capacity of 100MW when completed. The project also includes a 20 MW, 50MWh battery energy storage system. The project uses 415,000 photovoltaic panels from First Solar, based in the United States.
“We are pleased to have secured financing for the Rabbitbrush facility, which will be LRE’s first financing for a solar and BESS facility,” comments Chris Loehr, LRE’s CFO. “This is the first of many LRE solar and BESS financings to come as we build out the contracted pipeline in 2022 and 2023. We appreciate the strong support from our offtake partners and participating financial institutions, and we look forward to working together throughout the lifecycle of the Rabbitbrush project.”
The project will generate electricity that will be distributed to the community-owned, not-for-profit electricity providers Central Coast Community Energy (Silicon Valley Clean Energy) through two previously announced 15 year power purchase agreements.