Investment manager Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners and its portfolio company Primergy Solar have closed US$1.9 billion in debt and tax equity financing for a mammoth project to deliver clean energy to Las Vegas.
The Gemini Solar + Storage project, to be constructed in Clark County, Nevada, will be the largest single development of its kind in the United States when it is completed and becomes operational in late 2023.
The financing comprises US$1.3 billion in credit facilities, including a construction/term loan, tax equity bridge loan and letter of credit facility, and US$540 million in tax equity commitments.
This is one of the largest single-asset tax equity solar financings ever completed in the US, provided by Bank of America and Truist Bank.
The construction facilities were led by four coordinating lead arrangers: MUFG, KeyBanc Capital Markets, Bank of America, and Norddeutsche Landesbank, New York Branch, who syndicated the credit facilities to 19 lenders. There is also a US$95 million mezzanine debt facility provided by Voya Investment Management.
Paragon Energy Capital served as the tax equity adviser, while Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe was legal counsel to Primergy. Hunton Andrews Kurth provided tax equity legal counsel to Truist, Milbank provided tax equity counsel to Bank of America, Allen & Overy provided legal counsel to Voya, and Winston & Strawn provided legal counsel to the lenders.
The 690MWac/966MWdc (megawatts, alternating/direct current) solar PV plant and 380MW/1,416MWh (megawatt-hours) battery storage system will deliver enough carbon-free power, under a 25-year sales agreement with NV Energy, to power Las Vegas, and deliver 100% renewable energy during critical peak summer months.
“This significant transaction demonstrates yet another major step forward in solar energy and storage in renewables development," says Karen Fang, global head of sustainable finance at Bank of America. "Our commitment to the capital deployment in this space through tax equity, debt financing and hedging solutions, is an integral part of Bank of America’s broader US$1.5 trillion sustainable finance target by 2030."
"Once operational, Gemini will showcase the many benefits of pairing large-scale solar power with storage, and will guide the way for many similar projects to come from the Primergy team," says David Scaysbrook, managing partner of Quinbrook. Primergy is focused on deploying utility-scale and distributed solar and battery energy storage projects across North America.