Lightsource bp has successfully closed on a $460 million multi-project financing package, which will support the construction and operation of a 368-megawatt (MW) portfolio comprised of two utility-scale solar projects in the United States. Power purchase agreements with prominent renewable energy buyers were key to achieving this milestone.
The 368MW portfolio includes the following two projects, both scheduled to come online in 2024:
- 188MW Honeysuckle Solar in St. Joseph County, Indiana, with a long-term power purchase agreement with AEP Energy Partners (AEPEP)
- 180MW Prairie Ronde Solar in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, with a long-term power purchase agreement with McDonald’s Corporation.
Kevin Smith, CEO of the Americas, Lightsource bp: “By leveraging domestic content incentives offered in the Inflation Reduction Act, both the Honeysuckle and Prairie Ronde solar projects provide exciting examples of the IRA’s benefits in real action. With the right policies, we can boost made-in-America products, create jobs and reduce our nation’s foreign dependence.”
Nearly 800,000 solar panels manufactured by Arizona-based First Solar will be installed across both projects, along with smart solar trackers from New Mexico-based Array Technologies.
Supported by world-class finance partners
Over the last four years, the Lightsource bp team has raised over $3.7 billion in financing for projects in eleven states across the U.S. with a growing list of world-class financing partners. The following Mandated Lead Arrangers provided debt for this portfolio, with the balance of equity requirements supported by Lightsource bp.
- Bank of America, one of the world’s leading financial institutions serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses, and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management, and other financial and risk management products and services. Bank of America has mobilised approximately $410 billion since 2021 as part of the firm’s commitment to mobilise and deploy $1.5 trillion in sustainable finance capital by 2030, of which $1 trillion is dedicated to accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy. Bank of America has contributed to approximately 41GW of installed renewable wind and solar energy capacity in the U.S. since 2015 and is one of the largest U.S. corporate issuers of ESG bonds, having issued a total of $13.85 billion across five green, two social and three sustainability bond issuances since 2013.
- 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. Sustainability is inherent to our purpose of empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and in business. According to Bloomberg NEF, ING is a top-10 global lender in clean energy. In 2022 they announced their aim to grow our annual commitment to new renewable energy financing by 50 percent by the end of 2025. 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.
- Lloyds Banking Group, a leading UK-based financial services group with a combined history that spans more than 300 years. A sustainable and responsible approach to doing business underpins the Group’s purpose and strategy. Their Commercial Banking division provides lending, transactional banking, working capital management, debt financing and risk management services.
- NatWest, a leading project financing lender in Europe with a growing multi-billion U.S. Project Finance franchise and a 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 innovation expertise with a sustainable growth strategy.
Investing in environmental and economic benefits for Louisiana and Indiana
Construction of both solar farms is underway, creating a combined 450 jobs, with a focus on recruiting from the local labour pools. Lightsource bp selected the following Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contractors:
- South Bend, Indiana-based Inovateus Solar LLC is the EPC contractor for Honeysuckle Solar
- Florida-based LPL Solar is the EPC contractor for Prairie Ronde
In addition to economic benefits, the Honeysuckle and Prairie Ronde solar projects will help address two of the most pressing environmental crises facing our planet today: climate change and biodiversity loss. The primary purpose of solar is to reduce carbon emissions from electricity generation and at a competitive price. Collectively, the projects will abate more than 235,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year, the equivalent of taking about 85,000 fuel-burning cars off the road, contributing to healthier air quality.
Additionally, Lightsource bp works to increase biodiversity under and around the solar panels at our projects as part of our Responsible Solar ethos.
- Honeysuckle will be one of the first participants in the Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund’s new “Solar Synergy” program, fostering habitat for pollinators across the site.
- At Prairie Ronde, Lightsource bp is making plans to restore coastal prairie habitat and provide nesting grounds for Eastern Bluebirds.
Image source: Courtesy of Lightsource bp
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