7X Energy, Inc. has partnered with Nestlé to be the sole tax equity investor for its 250 megawatts Taygete I Energy Project located in Pecos County, Texas. 7X has now successfully originated 1,350 megawatts of solar projects either in operation or under construction in Texas. The projects combined represent a capital injection of over $1.5 billion dollars. Taygete I construction activities are complete, and the Project is in the final energization phase with full commercial operation expected in early 2021.
Deal details: 7X Energy, the project owner, will also be the asset manager. A portion of the energy generated from the Taygete I solar project will be sold through a long-term hedge agreement to J. Aron & Company LLC., a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs. The other power purchaser is an S&P A- Rated entity. CIT was the coordinating lead arranger and the other lenders included Deutsche Bank, National Bank of Canada, CIBC, Rabobank, and Amalgamated Bank. Marathon Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Nestlé on the transaction.
“Taygete I is an exciting achievement for 7X in which it is now an independent power producer,” said Clay Butler, President and CEO of 7X Energy. “Our expansion into ownership and asset management is the clear evolution for 7X as we are committed to the highest design and construction standards while also aggressively managing end to end costs to provide greater access to more competitive clean energy.”
Nestlé is the sole tax equity investor for the Taygete I project. This investment represents the company’s largest direct investment (by capacity) in a renewable energy project to date. In addition to its tax equity investment, Nestlé will purchase 100% of the renewable electricity attributes generated by the project’s energy production, estimated to be 750,000 megawatt hours per year for 15 years. This renewable energy will help the company reduce carbon emissions while making household favorites like DiGiorno pizza, Sweet Earth meals, Purina Pro Plan pet food and Tidy Cats cat litter.
“Nestlé’s investment in Taygete I is an important milestone on our journey to achieve net zero by 2050. This is an aggressive goal, and to achieve it we are innovating across our company, from the ingredients we use, to the packaging that keeps our food and beverages safe, to how we make and transport our products,” said Jim Wells, Chief Supply Chain Officer for Nestlé USA. “We are proud that our investment will expand the availability of renewable energy, adding enough solar electricity to the U.S. grid to power 90,000 homes each year. Also, with this step, we continue to be on track for a 35% GHG emissions reduction per tonne of product in our U.S. manufacturing facilities by the end of 2020.”
System details: The project, covering approximately 2,000 acres, used NextTracker components, Power Electronic Freesun HEM inverters, and over 856,000 Jinko modules. Swinerton Renewable Energy constructed the Taygete I solar project under an engineering, procurement, and construction contract with 7X Energy. Taygete I solar project created over 300 jobs during the peak of construction. Over the life of the facility the project will generate tens of millions of dollars in property tax revenue to the county.
“7X has been a great community partner during the development and construction of Taygete I. The economic benefits the project has brought to the region confirms the value of utility-scale solar energy,” said The Honorable Judge Joe Shuster, Pecos County. “This county has been at the forefront of energy generation as exemplified in that we’re #14 in oil and gas production, #5 in wind energy, and #1 in solar in the State of Texas. The Taygete I project showcases how oil and gas and solar can co-exist and we’re proud to be part of the Texas solar boom!”
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