Leeward Renewable Energy (“LRE” or “Company”) announced that it has closed approximately $420 million in construction to term financing from MUFG Bank Ltd. and a $195 million tax equity commitment from Wells Fargo for its Big Plain Solar Facility located in London, Ohio and its Oak Trail Solar Facility located near Moyock, North Carolina.
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.
“We are pleased to have secured financing for our Big Plain and Oak Trail projects, marking another significant milestone in the development of our solar energy portfolio,” commented Chris Loehr, Senior Vice President of Finance. “These agreements demonstrate the continued confidence financial institutions hold in our project portfolio and performance as we continue to execute on our contracted 2022 – 2023 pipeline. We appreciate the continued support from each of our participating financial institutions, particularly under terms that help advance and enhance LRE’s own environmental and social initiatives.”
“MUFG is proud to have partnered with Leeward Renewable Energy on another important project,” said Beth Waters, Managing Director, Project Finance, MUFG. “Supporting our clients in building sustainable and renewable energy sources is a crucial tenet of our business, and we look forward to working closely with Leeward on future projects.”
In 2021, Wells Fargo established its Institute for Sustainable Finance, which supports clients and communities to accelerate the transition to an equitable, low-carbon economy, including the deployment of $500 billion in financing to sustainable businesses and projects by 2030. Approximately $68 billion in sustainable finance was deployed in 2021.
“We are proud to provide tax equity financing to Leeward for this solar portfolio,” said Samantha Buechner, director in Wells Fargo’s Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance group. “We look forward to continuing to support Leeward and the transition to a low-carbon economy.”
The Big Plain and Oak Trail Solar facilities are currently under construction and, when completed, will provide a combined 296 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy to Verizon Communications under a long-term power purchase agreement. Both projects are expected to reach commercial operation by mid-2023.