Northland Power Inc. announced it has completed financing for the fourth and last phase of its 130-MW ground-mount program. The five solar projects, totaling 50 MW, are located in various communities in northern and central Ontario. The financing process was managed by The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Nordeutsche Landesbank and Siemens Financial Ltd. as Lead Arrangers, and included Raymond James Ltd., CIT Financial Ltd, and Laurentian Bank of Canada. The facilities consist of a $240 million construction credit facility with an 18-year term loan.
“Renewable energy sources such as solar are a rapidly growing portion of Ontario’s energy mix,” said John Brace, CEO of Northland. “As we expand our portfolio of solar assets across the province, we look forward to delivering strong returns to shareholders while producing clean, renewable energy that contributes to the long-term sustainability of our electricity system and environment.”
“MUFG is pleased to work with Northland Power arranging this important transaction. The deal’s success reflects the company’s vast experience and recognition by lenders that Northland is a premier developer in Canada,” said Carmelo Restifo, director at MUFG. “This is the fourth non-recourse solar financing MUFG has successfully executed for Northland. Solar IV is one of the largest widely syndicated Construction plus 18-year term loan bank deals completed in North America for a solar project transaction.”
Under construction by H.B. White Canada Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of White Construction Inc., the solar projects will sell the electricity under Ontario’s renewable energy Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program, and are using Ontario-made equipment and local Ontario labour. The projects are located near Cochrane in Northern Ontario, and Burk’s Falls near Huntsville. Commercial operations are expected to begin throughout 2014 and the first half of 2015.
To date, Northland has raised over $900 million in capital to fund renewable energy project development across Ontario. A commitment to producing clean and green energy has driven the company’s strategy for over 25 years. As one of Ontario’s first independent power producers, Northland developed its Kirkland Lake and Cochrane thermal facilities in the late 1980s and early 1990s to address the local forestry industry’s waste wood issues.
In total, Northland has received 130 MW of FIT contracts for ground-mounted solar projects. Eight projects have already achieved commercial operation.
— Solar Builder magazine