USA – Excelsior Energy Capital, an investor in renewable energy infrastructure, has successfully secured a substantial financing package of US$1.3 billion for its monumental 683MW Faraday solar project situated in Utah County.

This expansive ground-mounted solar venture was procured from Parasol and Clenera earlier in 2023. Currently in the construction phase, the project is slated to commence operations by the third quarter of 2025.

The produced clean electricity will be channeled to PacifiCorp, who in turn will supply it to Meta, contributing to the social media giant’s pledge to power its operations entirely through renewable energy sources.

Excelsior adeptly secured a commitment of US$400 million in tax equity from US Bancorp Impact Finance, facilitated through a solar production tax credit (PTC) partnership.

Additionally, it secured a US$460 million loan, a US$300 million tax equity bridge loan, and ancillary facilities worth US$250 million from MUFG and Nord/LB, who served as coordinating lead arrangers in the process.

The financing was a collaborative effort with joint lead arrangers including CIBC, DNB, Huntington Bank, the National Bank of Canada, Société Générale, and the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Associated Bank, and Comerica also participated in the financing, enhancing the multifaceted support for the project.

Jason Frooshani, Excelsior’s mergers and acquisitions head, highlighted the synergistic collaboration between Parasol, Clenera, and Excelsior’s innovative financing approach, underscoring the exceptional team effort that facilitated the successful acquisition and financing of the Faraday project.

Darren Van’t Hof, Director of Renewable Energy Investments at US Bancorp, expressed enthusiasm for their involvement in such an impactful venture, emphasizing its job creation and contribution towards generating clean electricity in Utah for the long term.

The Faraday project marks an investment through Excelsior’s inaugural flagship fund, Excelsior Renewable Energy Investment Fund I, totaling US$504 million.

Focused on late-stage, middle-market solar, wind, and battery storage projects, this fund represents the company’s largest single investment. Excelsior now boasts a portfolio of 1.9GW of operating and in-construction projects spanning ten states across the US.

In a parallel development, Ormat entered an agreement in October to acquire a 150MW portfolio of geothermal and solar assets from Enel Green Power North America, a subsidiary of the Italian company Enel, for a sum of US$271 million.

This portfolio encompasses two operational geothermal power plants, a 20MW triple hybrid geothermal and solar photovoltaic (PV) project, a 43MW solar thermal project, two solar projects with a collective capacity of 40MW, and two fledgling greenfield development assets.

The acquisition aligns with Ormat’s strategic ambition to expand its portfolio. Expected to conclude by the first quarter of 2024, this transaction embodies Ormat’s key objectives, facilitating asset rotation to bolster the development of future projects while streamlining its operational structure.

Notably, the transaction encompasses Enel’s entire geothermal portfolio in the US, encompassing the 25MW Cove Fort geothermal power plant situated in Beaver County, Utah. Designed by Ormat, this facility operates under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Salt River Project, an Arizona-based utilities company.

The second geothermal power plant included in the sale is the 65MW Salt Wells in Churchill County, Nevada. Operational since 2009, this plant’s power is vendored to NV Energy under a long-term PPA.

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