Leeward closes financing for 200 MW Horizon solar project

Leeward renewable energy

Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE) has closed approximately $75 million in construction to term financing from MUFG Bank Ltd. and an approximately $105 million tax equity commitment from Wells Fargo for its Horizon solar facility in Frio County, Texas.

The Horizon solar facility is currently under construction. Once completed, it will generate 200 MW of renewable energy for Verizon Communications under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA). The project is expected to reach commercial operation later in 2023.

“This milestone follows the successful development of our recently announced Big Plain and Oak Trail solar projects and further demonstrates our long-term commitment to excellence and ability to deliver on our pipeline of contracted projects,” said Chris Loehr, senior VP of finance for LRE.

MUFG served as the Green Loan structuring agent, coordinating lead arranger and administrative agent for the construction to term financing, arranging financing commitments from eight financial institutions and Export Development Canada (EDC). The debt was issued under the Green Loan Principles, which aim to facilitate and support environmentally sustainable economic activity.

“This project is another important step toward making solar power ever more affordable and accessible, thereby facilitating the much-needed transition to renewable energy sources,” said Beth Waters, managing director of project finance at MUFG.

The financing for the Horizon solar facility is an extension of LRE’s financing for the Big Plain and Oak Trail solar projects, announced in November 2022. It further expands the company’s generation of renewable energy capacity and marks another significant milestone in a growing portfolio of solar facilities. This will be LRE’s fifth solar project in the United States and the second solar project in Texas, after Barilla Solar in Reeves County.

“Wells Fargo has committed to deploy $500 billion in sustainable financing by 2030 to support the transition to a secure, resilient, and sustainable future, and projects such as Horizon align with those same goals,” Samantha Buechner, director for Wells Fargo Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance.

Dallas-based Leeward Renewable Energy owns and operates a portfolio of 24 renewable energy facilities across nine states totaling approximately 2,500 MW of generating capacity. The company is actively developing and contracting new solar, wind and energy storage projects in energy markets across the United States, with 1.9 GW contracted and 20 GW under development and construction, spanning over 100 projects. LRE is a portfolio company of OMERS Infrastructure, an investment arm of OMERS, one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans with $121 billion CAD in net assets (as at Dec. 31, 2021).

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