Lightsource bp has successfully closed on a $533 million multi-project financing package and will soon mobilise construction on its 135 megawatt (dc) Conway Solar project located near Happy, Arkansas, approximately 55 miles northeast of Little Rock. Lightsource bp will build, own and operate the facility and deliver the clean, renewable energy it generates to Conway Corp under a long-term power purchase agreement for their customers in the City of Conway. The solar farm will generate enough electricity to power more than 21,400 homes, and will also play a role in reducing the city’s carbon footprint by the equivalent of CO2 emissions from 35,400 fuel burning cars annually.
Bret Carroll, Chief Executive Officer, Conway Corp: “Our mission is to provide safe, affordable, reliable, innovative and environmentally sound service to our customers. This solar project checks all those boxes. It is a project that will have lasting impact on our community. We look forward to working with Lightsource bp to get the project under construction and delivering service to our customers.”
Conway Solar at Happy project supported by world-class finance partners
Conway Solar is part of a 480 megawatt, $533 million portfolio financing package for multiple solar projects. Debt for the portfolio was provided by the following Mandated Lead Arrangers, with the balance of equity requirements invested and supported by Lightsource bp.
- HSBC Bank USA, National Association (HSBC Bank USA, N.A.), part of HSBC Group, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations, serving customers through wealth and personal banking, commercial banking, private banking, and global banking and markets segments. HSBC also acted as a Coordinating Lead Arranger.
- ING Capital LLC (ING), a financial services firm offering a full array of wholesale financial lending products and advisory services to its corporate and institutional clients. ING Capital LLC is an indirect U.S. subsidiary of ING Bank NV, part of ING Group NV, a global financial institution. ING also acted as the Green Loan Coordinator.
- Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A., New York Branch (Intesa Sanpaolo), one of the top banking groups in Europe, serving corporate customers across 25 countries worldwide. Intesa Sanpaolo is recognised as one of the most sustainable banks in the world and is committed to becoming a reference model in terms of sustainability and social and cultural responsibility. Intesa Sanpaolo also acted as a Coordinating Lead Arranger.
- NatWest, a project financing lender in Europe and long-standing partner of Lightsource bp globally. They are a major retail and commercial bank that provides global market access and trading, financing, risk management and transaction banking services. In October 2021 NatWest Group announced an additional £100 billion for Climate and Sustainable Funding and Financing by the end of 2025.
- Societe Generale, one of the leading European financial services groups. Based on a diversified and integrated banking model, the Group combines financial strength and proven expertise in innovation with a strategy of sustainable growth.
- Standard Chartered Bank, an international banking group with a presence in 59 of the world’s most dynamic markets. Its Americas franchise provides financial products and services to multi-national corporations, financial institutions and development organisations through its Corporate and Institutional Banking business, and plays a key role in facilitating international trade and investment flows between the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
In the last two years, the Lightsource bp team has raised over $2.3 billion in financing for its projects in ten states across the US.
Bringing environmental and economic benefits to the local community
Kevin Smith, CEO of the Americas, Lightsource bp: “Beyond improving the health and energy security of communities across America, large-scale solar projects help strengthen local economies. As the owner and operator of the Conway solar farm at Happy, we look forward to bringing economic benefits to the region, along with fostering long-term community partnerships.”
Construction of the Conway Solar farm at Happy will:
- Create approximately 200 construction jobs, to be filled mainly by local workers
- Abate about 162,800 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually for the city of Conway, equivalent to annual emissions from about 35,400 fuel burning cars
Construction will start in March 2022, with full commercial operation expected in mid 2023. Gibson Technical Services (GTS), a Subsidiary of Orbital Energy Group, has been selected by Lightsource bp as the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor for the photovoltaic (PV) solar plant.
Jim O’Neil, Vice Chairman and CEO, Orbital Energy Group: “Orbital Energy Group recognises Lightsource bp as a leading utility scale solar developer in the nation and appreciates the relationship we have established moving the Conway project to the construction phase. We fully expect to advance our partnership with Lightsource bp, safely completing this project on time, and with quality workmanship.”
Image source: Courtesy of Lightsource bp
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