Project Finance Brief: NextEra to Sell 50% Stake in 2.5 GW US Renewable Portfolio
Westbridge Energy acquires 70% controlling interest in Sunnynook Solar Energy
From: Mercom Capital Group
NextEra Energy, through its subsidiary NextEra Energy Resources, has entered into an agreement to sell a 50% non-controlling interest in an approximately 2,520 MW long-term contracted renewables portfolio to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. The remaining 50% interest in the portfolio is under an agreement to be sold to NextEra Energy Partners pursuant to a purchase and sale agreement. NextEra Energy expects to sell the interests in the assets for a total consideration of approximately $849 million, subject to working capital and other adjustments, plus the investor’s share of the portfolio’s total tax equity financings, which is estimated to be approximately $866 million at the time of closing.
Canada-based Westbridge Energy, a renewable energy company focused on developing utility-scale solar PV projects, has acquired a 75% controlling interest in Sunnynook Solar Energy. Sunnynook is developing a 236 MW solar PV project and 100 MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) project in Sunnynook, Alberta, Canada. The project has secured site control in a long-term solar lease covering 940 acres. It is currently in Stage 1 of the Alberta Electric System Operator interconnection process, with environmental studies ongoing under Alberta Environment and Parks guidelines.
CIT Group announced that its power and energy business led the refinancing of a $69 million portfolio of solar facilities owned and operated by Strata Clean Energy, an integrated solar and storage energy service provider in North Carolina. The portfolio consists of 21 operating solar assets throughout North Carolina, totaling 130 MW of generation capacity.
Singapore-based renewable energy company Sembcorp Industries, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Sembcorp Energy, signed an equity transfer agreement with China state-owned investment holding company, State Development Investment Corporate Group (SDIC)’s Shanghai SDIC Xieli Development Equity Fund Partnership (Xieli Fund), to take over its 35% interest in SDIC New Energy for an equity consideration of approximately RMB 1.5 billion (~$0.23 billion). SDIC New Energy’s portfolio consists of 30 operational wind and solar PV assets with a total gross installed capacity of about 1.9 GW located across seven provincial regions in China. SDIC Power, the public-listed power arm of SDIC, is the remaining 65% shareholder of SDIC New Energy.
CIT Group announced that its power and energy business served as coordinating lead arranger on nearly $210 million in financing for a 260 MW Brazoria West solar project in Brazoria County, Texas. Construction works are underway, with commercial operations planned for 2022. The project was developed by Savion, an affiliate of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, a developer and owner of renewable projects. Immediately upon closing, the project was sold to, and the debt was assumed by S&B US Energy, a subsidiary of Shikun & Binui, an Israeli infrastructure, and real estate company. S&B US Energy will take over the development from closing through commercial operations.
Verbund, an electric utility, has acquired the 147.6 MW Illora solar PV project in southern Spain from BayWa r.e. The project is located in Pinos Puente, near Granada. Illora will produce approximately 260 GWh of green electricity per year. Construction of the project commenced in May 2021, and commissioning is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.
Wells Fargo Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance group announced the closing of tax equity financing for the 300 MW Arroyo Solar and a 150 MW Storage project in McKinley County, New Mexico, with D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI). Sundt Construction is constructing the solar project, which will use Nextracker smart solar trackers.
Ecoenergy, an independent producer of utility-scale renewable energy projects, has acquired an 87 MW solar project in Parau, central Romania. Construction works for the project will start in the first half of 2022. Vlasceanu, Nyerges, and partners advised Ecoenergy on the transaction.
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