Aggreko acquires 9 community solar projects in New York | Solar Financing Spotlight

Aggreko ETS has connected the first of nine community solar projects the company acquired, with the 5.9 MWdc project in Vernon, New York.

Aggreko and Summit Ridge Energy have each acquired a large portfolio of solar projects in New York and Virginia. Meanwhile, Excelsior Energy Capital and Primergy have secured financing. Read more about these projects in the latest Solar Financing Spotlight.

Aggreko’s Energy Transition Solutions (ETS) division has acquired a portfolio of nine community solar projects in New York. The ground-mounted installations will total approximately 59 MW of generating capacity when construction is complete. Along with closing on the acquisition, on Nov. 29 Aggreko ETS connected the first of the nine projects to the grid, a 5.9 MWdc project in the town of Vernon, 40 miles east of Syracuse.

Aggreko ETS is now overseeing the construction of the community-solar projects to ensure they reach commercialization and grid-connectivity within the next year. The opportunity to acquire the projects on a bilateral basis was made possible through the company’s existing relationships with the seller, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) provider, and its financing parties. To close this complex transaction, Aggreko ETS drew upon their commercial, engineering and structuring expertise to complete due diligence and negotiate agreements that satisfied competing interests among the various involved parties. Concurrent with closing the acquisition, the company raised tax equity financing from an institutional investor to de-risk the funding of the transaction.

The nine community solar sites will ultimately enable low-and-moderate income (LMI) New Yorkers to benefit from clean solar energy without needing to have residential solar installed. In taking over the projects, Aggreko ETS will bring their energy and commercial expertise to ensure the solar projects are constructed in a timely manner. 

“Not only does this acquisition expand the scale of our ambitions to provide clean energy to all New Yorkers, but it also establishes relationships with several anchor commercial and industrial subscribers to align with our growing focus as an energy transition solutions provider for C&I customers,” said Jerry Polacek, president of Aggreko ETS.

Apex sells 19 MWac distributed energy portfolio to Summit Ridge

Apex Clean Energy has sold four solar projects in Virginia to Summit Ridge Energy. The projects have secured capacity through the state’s Shared Solar Program, which will allow Dominion customers to subscribe to an offsite solar facility, lowering their energy bills while gaining access to clean energy. The portfolio — comprising Martin Trail, Dogwood Lane, Route 360 and Powell Creek — totals 19 MWac, representing more than 12% of the state’s initial 150 MW Shared Solar Program.

“With a distributed energy portfolio topping 400 MW across nine states, Apex continues to leverage our long-established development expertise to meet the evolving demands of today’s energy economy. This commercialization is the first of many to come,” said Ken Young, CEO of Apex. “Alongside industry leader Summit Ridge, Apex is delivering projects that will ensure Virginians have access to resilient clean energy solutions and savings.”

The Shared Solar Program, newly active in 2023, was launched as a component of the Virginia Clean Economy Act to support the state’s goals of reducing carbon emissions. The program incentivizes equitable access to clean energy by eliminating the minimum bill for low-income customers and establishing a 50 MW expansion plan that requires 30% of the total program’s subscribers to qualify as low income.

Together, Martin Trail and Route 360 in Halifax, Virginia; Dogwood Lane in Lunenberg; and Powell Creek in Prince George will serve approximately 3,200 customers. All four projects are expected to begin commercial operations in late 2024.

Excelsior Energy Capital closes $1.3 billion in financing for Faraday Solar Project

Excelsior Energy Capital has closed a $1.3 billion financing package on the Faraday Solar project in Utah County, Utah. The company acquired the project earlier this year from developers Parasol and Clenera. Faraday Solar is a 682.5 MW ground-mounted solar facility and is contracted under an investment grade long-term power purchase agreement.

The Faraday investment is the largest single investment made by Excelsior’s first flagship fund, Excelsior Renewable Energy Investment Fund I. Fund I is a $504 million infrastructure fund focused on investments in late-stage middle-market solar, wind and battery storage projects. Fund I is now fully deployed and consists of 1.9 GW of operating and in-construction projects diversified across 10 states.

“The acquisition and financing of the Faraday transaction was the result of an immensely collaborative effort with Parasol and Clenera, Excelsior’s innovative financing approach, and the efforts of our exceptional team,” said Jason Frooshani, Head of Mergers and Acquisitions at Excelsior. “This transaction demonstrates Excelsior’s continued commitment to acquiring superior quality projects from our partners in the renewable energy sector.”

Faraday is currently under construction and is expected to enter operations in third quarter 2025. The project has a long-term contract to provide renewable energy to PacifiCorp who will ultimately allocate the power to Meta, supporting the company’s 100% renewable energy and net zero commitments.

Primergy secures $300 million for Prairie Mist Solar Project

Primergy Solar LLC has closed commitments for $300 million in debt finance and tax equity investment for the 100 MWac Prairie Mist Solar Project in Ashley County, Arkansas.

The Prairie Mist project debt financing includes a tax equity bridge loan, construction/term debt and a letter of credit facility. The debt facilities are led by a syndicate comprising of Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, and SMBC. The Prairie Mist financing also includes a tax equity investment led by an affiliate of The PNC Financial Services Group Inc.

“The Primergy team is focused on developing, building, and operating best-in-class carbon-free energy supply projects across the country,” said Ty Daul, CEO of Primergy. “We are grateful for our continued partnership with the leading clean energy project financiers that are focused on helping us decarbonize the U.S. power grid.”

The Prairie Mist Solar Project is currently under construction and will connect to Entergy’s transmission system in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s (MISO) operating footprint. The solar project will enhance Arkansas’s energy mix and independence, which currently relies heavily on coal, gas, and oil for power production.

The project is expected to be completed in 2024, and once operational, will provide enough clean energy to power approximately 22,000 homes annually. Additionally, Prairie Mist is expected to create 100 local jobs and contribute an estimated $10 million in tax benefits in Ashley County.

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