8minutenergy Renewables, Macquarie Capital raise $30 million for California solar project


Macquarie Capital and 8minutenergy Renewables have raised some $30 million to finance the construction of the 90 MW Redwood Solar Farm in California’s Kern County.

The solar farm project has signed power purchase agreements (PPA) with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) and the City of Palo Alto, California.

The Redwood Solar Farm is located on 640 acres (259 hectares) of low-productivity farmland. Construction is projected to begin in late 2014, with the site expected to be operational and delivering solar energy to 43,000 households by mid-2015.

8minutenergy CEO Martin Hermann called the partnership with Macquarie Capital "a major milestone for 8minutenergy because one of the world’s leading global financing firms has vetted and invested in one of our projects."

Hermann described the Redwood Solar Farm as "another important milestone" for the company has it seeks to build up a significant portfolio of solar PV plants. The chief exec added that it was one of a number of projects 8minutenergy planned to get online before expiration of the United States’ solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in December 2016.

8minutenergy has 400 MW in PPAs and more than 20 projects totaling 1 GW under development. The company is developing and buidling the Redwood Solar Farm project with German solar construction and investment group Saferay.

8minutenergy President Tom Buttgenbach said Macquarie Capital’s investment "demonstrates the quality of 8minutenergy’s projects," adding that the company looked forward to working with the investment group on other 8minutenergy projects. Construction of the Redwood Solar Farm will create 225 direct and 450 indirect jobs in Kern County, Buttgenbach added.

Michael Allison, managing director of Macquarie Capital, said, "The investment in Redwood Solar Farm demonstrates our continued commitment to developing high-quality renewables projects, and partnering with leading developers on initiatives that help stimulate jobs and fuel local economies."

The investment deal was made by Macquarie Capital, the corporate advisory and capital markets arm of global financial services provider Macquarie Group, and 8minutenergy subsidiary 61LK 8ME.