sPower raises USD786 million for nine solar projects

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This morning Utah developer sPower announced a truly massive financing transaction for a portfolio of solar projects in Southern California. The company reports that it has completed a tax equity investment and syndicated construction and term loan facility which totals $786 million, from a consortium of European and American banks.

sPower states that the funds will be used to finance a group of nine solar projects totaling 339 MW-DC near the city of Lancaster in the northern part of Los Angeles County. Two of these totaling 52 WM are already completed, and the other seven totaling 187 MW are under construction. All projects feature single-axis tracking.

The projects appear to be fully refinanced and/or refinanced with this package, as the total financing comes out to $2.32 per watt.

sPower touts advantages to the structuring of the current deal. “With a company that is growing so quickly, recycling capital is incredibly important,” said sPower SVP of Structured Finance Ray Hanger in a press statement. “Financing a large portfolio build out with a single tax equity provider and a syndicate of banks creates substantial efficiencies.”

KeyBanc Capital Markets acted as the coordinating lead arranger for the $519 million syndicated debt facility, which included KeyBank, CIT Bank, CoBank ACB, Coöperatieve Rabobank, Norddeutsche Landesbank, Siemens Financial Services and Wells Fargo.

sPower is a private company, which means less public visibility into its operations and finances than is required for publicly traded developers. The company reports that it owns and operates more than 150 utility and commercial distributed generation projects in the United States and United Kingdom, which will reach 1.3 GW of capacity next year.