Longroad Energy Completes Financing of Maine Distributed Generation Portfolio

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 8/2/2021, Location: North America

Longroad Energy, a US-based renewable energy developer, owner and operator, has announced the financing and beginning of the construction of four distributed solar projects in Maine. These projects are part of the Net Energy Billing (NEB) program that was put in place in 2019 under the leadership of the Mills Administration and the Maine Legislature. Longroad owns 100 percent of each project. The projects have been under development by Longroad for over two years.

“Getting these projects financed and into construction is an important milestone,” said Portland, Maine-based Matt Kearns, Chief Development Officer of Longroad Energy. “Once completed, these projects will generate significant benefits for Bath Iron Works and Walmart, among the largest employers in Maine. We are grateful for each stakeholder who made this day possible, in particular the leaders in each of the towns hosting these projects.”

The projects are in Augusta, Baldwin, Harmony, and Monmouth, and they will have a combined capacity of 26 MWdc (17.3 MWac) and will generate enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of approximately 5,200 Maine homes annually. Construction is expected to take about six months with the start of operations for most expected by the end of 2021. The projects will be built by MYR Energy Services, including its Maine-based subsidiary E.S. Boulos.

MUFG served as lender and U.S. Bank as the tax equity investor for the four projects.

“We were honored to have another opportunity to support Longroad Energy with project financing and, by extension, help the state of Maine achieve progress toward reaching its ambitious clean-energy goals,” said Takaki Sakai, managing director of project finance at MUFG. “We are committed to participating in the continued growth of the community solar market, which plays a vital role in reducing carbon emissions.”

U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), the tax credit and community investment subsidiary of U.S. Bank, finances about 15 percent of all solar installations in the United States each year via tax equity financing.

“Longroad is a long-time partner and we’re excited to work with them again on these four projects to grow solar capacity and help Maine meet its clean energy goals,” said Clark Conlisk, assistant vice president on USBCDC’s environmental finance team. “Investing in community solar is one of the ways U.S. Bank can be a responsible steward of the environment, address climate change, create jobs and positively impact local communities.”

During the development phase, Longroad relied heavily on Maine-based companies to provide services and expertise in such areas as permit acquisition, environmental and legal matters, engineering, civil infrastructure, and electricity. The projects will each contribute $5,000 annually to their host communities to underwrite food security and STEM scholarship programs. The portfolio will use Series 6 modules supplied by U.S.-based First Solar, as well as Nextracker’s single axis tracker technology, and TMEIC’s inverters. The projects will be interconnected to the Central Maine Power system.

In addition to these four projects, Longroad has 14 other distributed solar projects under development in Maine.

Longroad’s affiliate, Longroad Energy Services, is the asset manager and operator, and will provide remote monitoring services to the projects over the long term. These services will be provided by Longroad’s remote operations center in Portland.

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