From pv magazine USA
Lightsource BP announced that it has closed on a US$376 million multi-project financing package in the US, and has also begun construction on a pair of solar projects set to total more than 460MW, once all is said and done.
The 293MW Sun Mountain solar project is set to be located in Pueblo, Colorado, and the 173MW Bellflower solar project is set to be constructed about 40 miles east of Indianapolis in Henry and Rush Counties, Indiana. While a full project timeline is not available for the Sun Mountain solar project, the Bellflower solar project is expected to be completed in 2022.
The two projects each have power purchase agreements (PPA) in place. Sun Mountain’s PPA is with Xcel Energy, a utility with service in Colorado, and will complement Xcel Energy’s broader Colorado Energy Plan to deliver 55% renewable energy to the grid and reduce carbon emissions by 60% by 2026. It also supports Colorado’s clean energy goal to reduce emissions statewide by 26% by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 90% by 2050.
The project is nearby to Lightsource’s Bighorn solar project, also located in Pueblo. That 300MW project is primarily located on 1,800 acres of Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel property in Pueblo. It is one of the largest on-site solar facilities in the US dedicated to a single customer, with more than 750,000 solar panels. The plant recycles scrap metal to produce new steel products, including railroad tracks. This project also has a PPA in place with Xcel Energy.
The Sun Mountain Solar project is expected to create 300 jobs during the 12-to-14-month construction period, to be filled mainly by local workers. Nearly 100 of the workers from Bighorn Solar will be transitioning to construct Sun Mountain, with 200 additional workers to be recruited from the local community. The Bellflower project will create about 200 jobs during construction.
Bellflower has a virtual PPA in place with Verizon Communications, furthering Verizon’s goal of being carbon neutral in its operations by 2035.
Bellflower and Sun Mountain were financed under a 466MW, $376 million portfolio financing package. The tax equity investment for the portfolio was secured from Bank of America, marking its fourth transaction with Lightsource bp over the past two years. Debt for the portfolio was provided by ING Capital, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, HSBC Bank USA, and NatWest.
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