Lightsource bp has secured a $285m financing package for the construction of its 300MW Bighorn Solar plant in Pueblo, Colorado.

The tax equity financing for the solar project has been provided by Bank of America.

The debt financing for the project was provided by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), a Tokyo headquartered financial institution, Societe Generale, and Canada’s export credit agency Europe and Export Development Canada (EDC).

Lightsource bp will invest the balance of the remaining equity requirements of the solar project.

The solar plant will be located on EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel mill property. Lightsource bp will sell the power generated from the solar plant to Xcel Energy, under a 20-year long-term contract.

Lightsource bp the Americas CEO Kevin Smith said: “Partnership with these leading investment institutions enables us to work together to achieve our shared ambitions for a sustainable and profitable future.

“With their support, along with that of our local partners, we’re materially benefitting the environment as well as Colorado’s economy – delivering affordable and clean energy that the world demands and needs.”

The Bighorn solar plant is expected to be operational next year

Lightsource bp will build, own and operate the 300MW Bighorn Solar plant.

During its construction phase, the solar plant is expected to create nearly 300 jobs. The project construction could be completed in next year.

Expected to begin commercial operation by late 2021, the project is estimated to help avoid more than 430,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere annually.

The solar project will feature nearly 750,000 Canadian Solar bifacial solar panels on approximately 1,600 acres of land located on the EVRAZ steel mill site.

Xcel Energy Colorado president Alice Jackson said: “We are excited to see Lightsource bp taking the next step toward building the Bighorn Solar project.

“This collaboration between Xcel Energy, EVRAZ North America and Lightsource bp is proof that when innovative companies work together we can create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and support our communities and the environment.”

In August, Lightsource bp has awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to McCarthy Building Companies for the construction of the Bighorn solar project.