First Citizens, Spearmint Energy funding battery storage projects | Solar Financing Spotlight

money funding

First Citizens Bank is helping to fund a 200 MW energy storage project in California, while Spearmint Energy has secured tax equity for a 150 MW storage project Texas. Learn more about these initiatives along with other funding news in our latest Solar Financing Spotlight.

To start off, First Citizens Bank’s Energy Finance business has served as lead agent on $60 million in financing to Gore Street Energy Storage Fund plc for the development of a 200 MW battery storage project in Imperial County, California.

Gore Street Energy Storage Fund plc is a publicly traded battery storage company that builds, owns and operates battery storage projects across the UK, Ireland, Germany and the United States. The company’s subsidiary, Big Rock ESS Assets LLC, owns the 200 MW / 400 MWh California battery storage project, which will benefit from contracted revenue through the Resource Adequacy program.

The financing will support the remaining development of the Big Rock project and provide Gore Street Energy Storage with additional liquidity for its growing portfolio. 

“Big Rock’s strategic location and use of commercially proven Tier 1 technology makes it a valuable addition to Gore Street Energy Storage Fund’s portfolio,” said Mike Lorusso, head of First Citizens’ Energy group.

Spearmint Energy secures $92 million tax equity financing for Texas BESS project

Spearmint Energy has closed a $92 million tax equity investment in its Revolution project provided by investment firm Greenprint Capital Management. The Revolution project is a 150 MW / 300 MWh battery energy storage project located in West Texas. Greenprint’s investment marks one of the first applications of the Investment Tax Credit structure for a standalone battery energy storage system following the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act.

“As our nation continues to battle grid-instability due to climate change, fluctuating oil and natural gas prices, and an increase in electricity demand, Spearmint is acutely focused on partnering with best-in-class firms like Greenprint to ensure we can efficiently offer low-cost renewable energy to markets in need,” said Andrew Waranch, founder, president and CEO of Spearmint. “We are proud to be a first mover in leveraging the incentives of the Inflation Reduction Act to help fuel the growth of the clean energy revolution.”

Revolution reached mechanical completion this summer and is scheduled to begin operations later this year. The project is expected to be one of the largest batteries in the United States and will help strengthen Texas’ energy storage capabilities, provide a resilient electric grid for homes and businesses during times of extreme weather, and bolster access to renewable energy solutions across the ERCOT system.

Pine Ridge Reservation solar project receives $500,000 from Biden-Harris administration

The American Solar Energy Society has received $500,000 for a solar energy project on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The funds are part of President Joe Biden’s Investing in America program.

Dubbed Project Tiošpáye, the American Solar Energy Society has proposed to conduct a community-based project to demonstrate innovative solar energy technologies and address key problems on the Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation. These projects will promote healthy lifestyles, including improved indoor air quality, better on-site water access and quality, improved food access and preservation and better energy resiliency with solar power technologies for both on-grid and off-grid tribal residences.

Sunlight Financial acquired by leading solar industry investors

Sunlight Financial Holdings Inc., a technology-enabled point-of-sale finance company, has been acquired by a consortium of established investors in the solar energy industry. The consortium, ED Umbrella Holdings LLC, includes an affiliate of Greenbacker Capital Management, Sunstone Credit, IGS Ventures and others, as well as its secured lender, Cross River Bank (CRB).

Sunlight has entered into a Restructuring Support Agreement to reduce its debt burden while strengthening its balance sheet. The agreement also outlines the expected restructuring plan between Sunlight and the Restructuring Support Parties.

“We are excited for Sunlight’s future,” said Matt Potere, CEO of Sunlight Financial. “Our agreement and transaction with our current partners and the Consortium is a strong vote of confidence in Sunlight’s platform and the company’s growth prospects. Sunlight will emerge from this process in a stronger position, with the resources to invest in our platform and our people, both in service of our partners.”

As part of the process, Sunlight Financial has filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to implement the acquisition. Sunlight Financial will request an expedited in-court process, which will allow the Company to quickly exit Chapter 11.

Trade creditors, suppliers, and contractors will be paid in the ordinary course of business, and customer relationships will continue uninterrupted. Employees can also expect that operations will continue without interruptions, and they will be paid and provided benefits on the usual schedule.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is serving as legal counsel, Guggenheim Securities, LLC is serving as Investment Banker and Alvarez & Marsal is providing financial advisory services to Sunlight Financial. Locke Lord LLP is serving as legal counsel to the Consortium. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is serving as legal counsel and Piper Sandler is providing financial advisory services to CRB.

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