L3Harris Technologies has signed a VPPA for up to 100MW of capacity from one of the solar projects


Tax equity financing for both the solar projects was secured from Bank of America. (Credit: Sebastian Ganso from Pixabay.)

UK-based Lightsource bp has closed on a $380m financing package and commenced the construction at its Elm Branch and Briar Creek solar projects in Texas, US, totaling 316MW capacity.

Tax equity financing for both the solar projects, located nearly 40 miles (64km) south of Dallas, was secured from Bank of America.

Mandated lead arrangers financial services firm ING Capital and French multinational investment bank Societe Generale have offered the debt for the facilities.

Lightsource bp Americas CEO Kevin Smith said: “This transaction is a demonstration of the low risk and stable yield opportunities that renewable energy projects offer to investors, the quality and bankability of our developed assets, and the confidence that top tier investors have in Lightsource bp.

“Despite challenges posed with COVID-19, Lightsource bp reached financial close on over $1.2 billion in transactions in the US in 2020, a substantial increase from 2019.”

The company said that securing power contracts with energy partners played an important role in supporting investment and financing of the new clean energy infrastructure in Texas.

Power contracts include a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with L3Harris Technologies for up to 100MW of capacity from Elm Branch.

Also, a proxy generation power purchase agreement (pgPPA) has been signed with the Capital Solutions unit of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) for the electricity generated at Briar Creek.

Both projects are expected to begin commercial operations by late 2021.

The company has selected McCarthy Building Companies as its engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for the project.

McCarthy renewable energy and storage team executive vice president Scott Canada said: “We are honored to be part of the team that is bringing clean energy to these Texas communities.

“Around the country we are seeing the positive impact that solar energy can have on communities as they embrace clean energy solutions to attract large companies with renewable energy goals, and serve to provide career opportunities in the growing solar construction sector.

“Through our well-structured training program and rigorous design-phase planning we’re able to help those in the local workforce while also building some of the most efficient solar facilities that provide long-term reliable energy to its customers, which is why we do what we do. It’s very rewarding!”