Longroad closes financing for £330m solar facility in Texas

WCN Editorial Team 31 May 2019 NORTH AMERICA ENERGY & UTILITIES

Longroad Energy, a US-based renewable energy developer, has closed a financing package of approximately $416m (£330m) and commenced construction on its Prospero solar project in Andrews County, Texas.

The Prospero solar farm is located on a site spanning approximately 4,600 acres in Andrews County and is designed to have a capacity of 379MWdc. Longroad plans to complete the construction in 2020.

The Prospero project is expected to deploy solar panels from First Solar, inverters from TMEIC, and tracking systems form NEXTracker.

Facebook, which is globally involved in the procurement of clean energy, will act as the sole tax equity investor for the project, marking the companys first direct investment in a renewable energy project.

Facebook energy strategy manager Peter Freed said: “Facebook is excited to be one of the first companies to use a direct investment to meet our renewable energy goals.

“We hope such investments can be a new avenue of meaningfully engaging with projects, which might be easier for some companies than a long-term power purchase agreement, thereby unlocking new options for more organizations to meet their goals and grow the market.”

Shell Energy North America (SENA) has signed a 12’-year power purchase agreement to buy the power generated by the proposed project. The PPA also marks one of the first off-take agreements of this type in the solar industry.

SENA president Glenn Wright said: “We are proud to add this project to our portfolio of zero carbon assets and to further Shell’s efforts to reduce our carbon footprint. This is another great opportunity to be a part of increasing the supply of renewable power into the grid while also helping our assets in the Permian to meet their sustainability goals.”

The project is expected to deliver more than $21m (£16.6m) in property taxes, including more than $12m (£9.5m) to the Andrews ISD.

In addition, the project is expected to create hundreds of jobs during construction and jobs for operating the facility.

Longroad CEO Paul Gaynor said: “From our community stakeholders, to our suppliers, energy off-takers and investors, it takes a lot of hard work and cooperation to complete a project of this magnitude. We are extremely lucky to have had such great partners and are proud to bring this much needed clean energy to the market.”

Swinerton Renewable Energy will provide EPC services to the project as contractor and Sharyland Utilities will carry out the interconnection.
Longroad said that Facebook and Shell will share the renewable energy attributes generated by the project’s energy production.

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Image: Both Facebook and Shell would share the renewable energy attributes generated by the project's energy production. Photo: Courtesy of Longroad Energy.

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