Plus Power closes on $133 million loan | Solar Financing Spotlight

Plus Power First Citizens Cranberry battery energy storage financing
Cranberry Point Energy Storage project rendering.

Plus Power secured $133 million in financing for the 150 MW / 300 MWh Cranberry Point Energy Storage project in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, EDPR NA Distributed Generation acquired Renewable Properties’ community solar portfolio in Illinois, plus news from EverGen Power, Strategic Value Partners, Sunrun, DLL and Sunstone Credit round out this bulky edition of the Solar Financing Spotlight.

Plus Power closed on $133 million in financing for the first major utility-scale standalone battery storage system in construction on the New England grid. The 150 MW / 300 MWh Cranberry Point Energy Storage facility was among the first few standalone batteries ever to clear the Forward Capacity Auction in 2021 with the Independent System Operator of New England, or ISO-NE. The project aims to help stabilize the electric grid during the region’s increasing number of extreme weather events while helping to suppress volatile wholesale prices for ratepayers. 

Plus Power’s targeted completion for the Cranberry Point project is the second quarter of 2025. Located on roughly 6 acres of land in Carver, Massachusetts, the project will interconnect near critical transmission infrastructure and represents the first major utility-scale standalone battery storage facility in construction on the New England grid.

With the auction award, Cranberry Point committed to provide capacity to the ISO-NE market through 2031. In the same auction, Plus Power’s 175 MW / 350 MWh Cross Town Energy Storage facility in Gorham, Maine also won a capacity payment commitment from ISO-NE through 2031.

First Citizens Bank and Nord LB acted as coordinating lead arrangers while Investec and Siemens Financial Services acted as joint lead arrangers. Investec is the administrative agent and U.S. Bank is the depositary bank. Sheppard Mullin acted as transaction counsel for Plus Power and Winston & Strawn acted as transaction counsel for the lenders. The $133 million financing includes a construction-to-term loan, bridge loan and letter of credit facility.

Cranberry Point and Cross Town are the largest battery energy storage projects in construction with planned operations in New England and will be online during Summer 2025. The Cross Town Energy Storage project commenced construction in April 2024 and is now the largest battery coming online in the region. The Cranberry Point facility, under construction since December 2023, is the second largest and represents approximately a third of Massachusetts’ goal to deploy 1,000 MWh of battery energy storage by 2025.

The announcement marks the first major financing of a utility-scale project that will benefit from Clean Peak Energy Certificates (CPECs), a relatively new and innovative incentive program unique to Massachusetts.  The state launched the Clean Peak Standard in 2020 to incentivize the pairing of emissions-free generation with seasonal peak demand. In doing so, the Clean Peak program recognizes and remunerates batteries for their additional service to shift clean loads to replace polluting ‘peaking’ generation.

“Our capital partners continue to recognize the unique capabilities of standalone storage facilities and Plus Power’s leadership in developing and operating them,” said Josh Goldstein, chief financial officer at Plus Power. “This financing demonstrates that standalone storage is capable of supporting a regional grid’s energy planning in a rapidly transitioning landscape.”

EDPR NA Distributed Generation acquires 20 MWac community solar portfolio in Illinois

EDPR NA Distributed Generation LLC (EDPR NA DG) has acquired a portfolio of four Illinois community solar projects under development from Renewable Properties LLC.

The 20 MWac portfolio is expected to generate an estimated 42 GWh of solar energy annually. These projects add to an extensive portfolio of solar energy assets being developed in Illinois, which will contribute to the continued growth of EDPR NA DG’s current 310 MWp of overall operational capacity across 538 active sites.

EDPR NA DG is the distributed generation arm of EDP Renewables North America LLC (EDPR NA). Renewable Properties is a preeminent community solar developer based in San Francisco that develops, owns and operates DG solar projects in the United States. Renewable Properties has more than 1 GW of solar, energy storage and EV infrastructure under development across 15 states and has more than 155 MW under construction or in operation.

“Community solar installations bring energy independence and economic empowerment to towns across the country, and this portfolio will help us further support Illinoisans in their transition to a clean energy economy,” said Joao Barreto, CEO of EDPR NA Distributed Generation.

KeyBanc acted as an advisor on the acquisition on behalf of Renewable Properties.

EverGen Power and Strategic Value Partners launch investment partnership 

Newly formed EverGen Power and Strategic Value Partners LLC (SVP) have launched a strategic partnership to invest in and manage power assets across North America. The partnership will focus on investments in power generation assets and renewable opportunities in deregulated markets.

EverGen Power is an acquisition and management advisory firm focused on critical power generation assets and renewable opportunities. The EverGen team is led by Dave Freysinger and Darren Olagues, who together have more than 50 years of experience investing in and managing North American power infrastructure. Stephen Schaefer will serve as a senior advisor to EverGen in its efforts. Freysinger and Olagues are the former CEO and CFO and current board members of GenOn Holdings Inc. Schaefer also serves on the board of GenOn as well as the boards of Talen Energy and Just Energy. Under their leadership, they successfully managed the reorganization, recapitalization and monetization of GenOn’s 11 GW power portfolio over the past six years. 

SVP is a global alternative investment firm with over $18 billion of assets under management acting as agent for its and its affiliates managed investment funds and accounts. The SVP team focused on investments in the power sector is led by Ari Barz, a managing director of North American investment, who has worked closely with the team behind EverGen since 2018. SVP has deep investing expertise across a number of real asset sectors and has invested approximately $3 billion in power assets since 2001. The firm has held majority ownership of GenOn since 2019 and has made significant investments in several energy investments, including SunEdison, PG&E, TerraForm Power, Liberty Electric and Edison Mission Energy.

EverGen and SVP plan to leverage their power industry experience and investing capability to acquire and manage generation assets that fill a critical reliability role in competitive power markets.

“With the challenges in advancing the energy transition, there is a growing reliance on existing generation. Our fundamental outlook of rising power demand, continued retirement of base load generation and little new dispatchable generation makes the existing gas generation fleet increasingly valuable,” said Freysinger.  

Sunrun prices record setting $886.3 million senior securitization of residential solar and battery systems

Sunrun, which provides clean energy as a subscription service, has priced a securitization of leases and power purchase agreements for residential solar and battery systems valued at a record setting $886.3 million. The securitization represents the largest in Sunrun’s history and the largest residential solar securitization industry wide.

“Sunrun continues to set industry benchmarks, with our robust performance and ability to attract competitively priced capital,” said Danny Abajian, Sunrun’s chief financial officer. “Not only was this the largest securitization for Sunrun and the industry, our proven track record as an originator and servicer has been recognized by KBRA, assigning a higher rating for comparable advance rates relative to precedent ABS transactions.”

The transaction was structured with two pari passu tranches of A+ rated notes (the “Class A-1” and “Class A-2”, respectively and together the “Class A”) and a single class of BB (“Class B”) rated notes. The $443.15 million Class A-1 notes were marketed in a public asset backed securitization, whereas the $443.15 million Class A-2 notes were privately placed. The Class A notes were priced with a coupon of 6.25%.

The Class A-1 notes pricing reflects a 205bps spread and a 6.385% yield. The spread of 205bps represents an improvement of 35bps from Sunrun’s 2023-2 asset backed securitization in September 2023. The initial balance of the Class A notes represents an 72.6% advance rate on the Securitization Share of ADSAB (present value using a 6% discount rate). The Class A notes have an expected weighted average life of 6.8 years, an Anticipated Repayment Date of July 30, 2031, and a final maturity date of July 30, 2059.

Similar to prior transactions, Sunrun anticipates raising additional subordinated subsidiary-level non-recourse financing (secured, in part, by the distributions from the retained Class B notes), which is expected to increase the cumulative advance rate obtained by Sunrun.

The notes are backed by a diversified portfolio of 48,628 systems distributed across 19 states, and Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico and 79 utility service territories. The weighted average customer FICO score is 741. The transaction closed on June 11.

DLL, Sunstone to expand renewable energy through accessible solar financing

DLL is partnering with Sunstone Credit Inc. to provide solar financing solutions that accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in the United States.

DLL, founded in 1969, is a global asset finance company for equipment and technology with a managed portfolio of more than EUR 44B. The company will be providing Sunstone Credit with financing solutions for energy producing and energy infrastructure assets which include solar and battery storage.

Through this partnership, Sunstone Credit will leverage DLL’s global reach, as well as its customer service capabilities and extensive product offering to bring new creative financing solutions to the U.S. commercial solar market. The partnership will build on Sunstone Credit’s existing cost-effective solar financing solutions and will further support and accelerate the energy transition and the reduction of greenhouse gas intensity across the country.  

“We are thrilled to partner with Sunstone Credit to fuel their growth as well as finance solar solutions for commercial and industrial customers of all sizes,” said Dave Ingram, U.S. Regional Commercial Manager, Energy Transition at DLL. “Aligning with DLL’s strategic goal ‘to be the transition partner for a better world,’ this partnership will provide Sunstone Credit access to credit facilities to enable them to serve an even broader network of customers and contractors across the U.S.”

DLL’s Energy Transition team in the U.S. will work with Sunstone Credit to fund solar projects sourced through Sunstone’s extensive network of channel partners, which spans across all 50 states. Sunstone has continually expanded its affordable financing options via its best-in-class online platform to suit varying borrowing needs for businesses of all sizes. In 2023, it surpassed $500 million in initiated loan applications across the United States.

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