Lightsource bp closes on financing for 130-MW Black Bear Solar project in Alabama

Black Bear solar project

Lightsource bp has successfully closed on a $100 million financing package for its 130 MWdc Black Bear Solar energy project in Montgomery County, Alabama. The completed Black Bear will meaningfully contribute to Alabama’s cumulative utility-scale solar capacity.

Kevin Smith, CEO of the Americas, Lightsource bp: “This project demonstrates the positive impacts that result from partnerships with shared goals to reduce carbon emissions, deliver affordable electricity, create jobs and contribute to local communities. It’s also a testament to the cost-effectiveness and bankability of solar energy that world-class lenders are supporting this project, and that AMEA has agreed to purchase the electricity on a long-term basis to the substantial benefit of its members.”

The power contract secured with Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA) was critical in permitting investment and financing of this new energy infrastructure for Alabama. AMEA, located in Montgomery, is the wholesale power provider for 11 public power utilities in Alabama, which serve around 350,000 customers in the cities of Alexander City, Dothan, Fairhope, Foley, LaFayette, Lanett, Luverne, Opelika, Piedmont, Sylacauga, and Tuskegee.

Fred Clark, President & CEO, AMEA: “AMEA is excited about our partnership with Lightsource bp. This large scale solar project will help diversify AMEA’s fuel resources, and will continue to provide low-cost electricity to our Members’ customers.”

Black Bear Solar, located 15 miles from AMEA’s headquarters in Montgomery, will supply cost-effective, locally sourced, sustainable electricity to AMEA’s 11 Member utilities. The project will contribute almost $7 million in property tax revenue to county schools over the first 35 years of the project life. In addition, it will provide clean energy and bill savings to AMEA’s members and their customers.

The tax equity investment for the project was secured from Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank. Debt for the project was provided by Banco Santander, one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization, headquartered in Spain, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), a top-tier global financial group headquartered in Tokyo. The balance of the equity requirements will be invested by Lightsource bp.

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