Fifth largest public transit system in the country signs 45-MW power purchase agreement

recurrent

Recurrent Energy LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar, signed a 20-year power purchase agreement  for 45 MWac of solar power with Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the fifth largest public transit network in the country and one of the largest consumers of electric power in Northern California. The BART Board of Directors approved the PPA on December 7, 2017.

This contract, BART’s first-ever PPA for utility-scale solar power, resulted from a renewable energy procurement process that BART launched in May 2017 as part of the organization’s Wholesale Electricity Portfolio Policy. The Policy requires 100 percent of BART’s power to come from renewable resources by 2045 while maintaining low and stable BART operating costs.

“Utility-scale solar power is a vital part of cost-effectively meeting our sustainability commitments,” said BART Sustainability Director Holly Gordon. “It is very important to us to work with an experienced development partner like Recurrent Energy who will help us achieve our goals.”

Beyond the rooftop: How offsite PPAs change the game for solar professionals

Power will be supplied to BART from Recurrent Energy’s 45 MWac Gaskell West 2 solar photovoltaic project located in southern California. The project is scheduled to reach commercial operation in 2020.

“Solar power is a perfect match for BART’s commitment to using cost-effective and clean energy,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman and chief executive officer of Canadian Solar. “We are proud to support BART’s progress towards 100 percent renewable energy while also diversifying Recurrent Energy’s customer base.”

BART is the first U.S. metro-rail entity to sign a utility-scale solar PPA this year.

 

— Solar Builder magazine

Recurrent Energy joins solar industry association board of directors

recurrent

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry, announced that Recurrent Energy, a leading utility-scale project developer, is now a member of SEIA’s Board of Directors.

“This is a critical point in time for the U.S. solar industry and having the guidance, support and expertise of Recurrent Energy will benefit the entire industry,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president and CEO. “We look forward to working with their team to promote policies that expand the growth of solar energy nationwide.”

Meet Recurrent

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Recurrent Energy has a 4 gigawatt (GW) project portfolio with 1.2 GW of solar projects commissioned in 2016 alone. Recurrent Energy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc. (“Canadian Solar”) and functions as Canadian Solar’s U.S. project development arm.

SB Buzz Podcast: Discussing rail-less mounting with Ecolibrium Solar

Ty Daul, a 27-year power industry veteran, will serve as Recurrent Energy’s board representative. Daul oversees Recurrent Energy, as well as Canadian Solar’s project development efforts in Canada and Latin America.

“I am honored to join the SEIA Board of Directors to represent Recurrent Energy,” Daul said. “As we expand our U.S. project development footprint, SEIA’s work will play a critical role.”

As a member of SEIA’s Board, Recurrent Energy, alongside other board representatives, joins in SEIA’s efforts to oppose the 201 case and its fight to save the tens of thousands of U.S. solar jobs currently at risk.

— Solar Builder magazine

WATCH: Massive Mustang solar project comes together, ready for commercial operation

The Mustang solar power project in Kings County, Calif., is massive (100 MWac/134 MWp) and ready for commercial operation, says  Recurrent Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc., one of the world’s largest solar power companies.

“The commercial operation of the Mustang solar project continues a historic year that will see Recurrent Energy complete more than one gigawatt of U.S. solar photovoltaic (PV) projects,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar.

In 2015, Recurrent Energy secured a tax equity investment commitment for the Mustang project from U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC).

The renewable energy generated by the Mustang project will be sold under long-term power purchase agreements to Sonoma Clean Power and MCE. The project is expected to produce enough electricity to power approximately 45,000 homes.

Construction of the 1,000 acre project created 450 peak construction jobs. Blattner Energy served as the provider of Engineering, Procurement, and Construction services.

RELATED: The value of a team approach to fixed-tilt ground-mount projects 

— Solar Builder magazine

Solar industry’s total 2015 corporate funding exceeds $25 billion

solar corporate funding

Mercom Capital Group LLC, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, released its report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the solar sector in 2015. Total global corporate funding in the solar sector, including venture capital/private equity (VC), debt financing, and public market financing, raised by public companies came to $25.3 billion, compared to $26.5 billion in 2014.

“Overall it was a good year for the solar sector considering the turbulence in the stock markets and trouble with yieldcos in the 2nd half of the year,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group. “The extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) was a much needed boost for the sector, paving the way for a strong 2016.”

solar mergers and acquisitions

Global VC investments came to $1.1 billion in 83 deals in 2015, compared to $1.3 billion in 85 deals in 2014.

solar corporate funding

Solar downstream companies accounted for 69 percent of the VC funding in 2015, with $727 million of the $1 billion raised. Investments in PV technology companies came to $173 million and Balance of Systems (BoS) companies raised $87 million. Thin-film companies brought in $44 million, service providers raised $15 million, and the CPV and CSP categories each raised $3 million. Over $100 million in VC funding went to companies focused on off-grid markets in Africa, India, and South Asia.

RELATED: Average residential solar prices $3 to $4 per watt, commercial $2 to $3 

Among the Top 5 VC deals in 2015, the largest was the $300 million raised by Sunnova Energy, followed by the $105 million raised by Silicor Materials. Sunlight Financial raised $80 million and Sungevity raised $50 million. Completing the Top 5 was Conergy, which raised $45 million.

solar 2015 funding

There were 109 active investors in 2015 with 14 involved in multiple rounds. The 14 were DBL Partners, Infuse Ventures, Bamboo Finance, Clean Energy Venture Group, DOEN Foundation, ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies, Hudson Clean Energy Partners, International Finance Corporation, Kohli Ventures, Longwall Venture Partners, MTI Partners, Parkwalk, Tenaska and University of Oxford.

Despite a weak fourth quarter, public market financing had its strongest year with almost $6 billion raised in 38 deals, compared to the 2014 record of $5.2 billion in 52 deals. There were seven IPOs bringing in a total of more than $1.8 billion including Sunrun, Xinte Energy, CHORUS Clean Energy, SolarEdge Technologies and Grenergy Renovables. Yieldcos raised $1.1 billion in two IPOs, TerraForm Global Yieldco and 8point3 Energy Partners.

Debt financing in 2015 totaled $18.3 billion, slightly down compared to $20 billion in 2014. More than half of the debt funding raised came from China, $10.9 billion in 33 deals. There were four securitization deals in 2015, totaling $335 million, by Solar City, SunRun, BBOXX and AES.
Announced large-scale project funding in 2015 exceeded $11.6 billion in 124 deals this year, compared to 2014 in which $14.2 billion was raised in 144 deals. A total of 145 investors funded about 6.6 GW of large-scale solar projects this year.

solar industry investment

Top investors were Santander with 12 projects, Rabobank with nine projects and CIT Bank, Credit Agricole and KeyBank with six projects each.

It was a record year for dollars raised in residential and commercial solar project funds in 2015 with 23 funds announced for a combined total of $5.5 billion, compared to the $4 billion raised in 34 funds in 2014. SolarCity, Sungevity, Onyx Renewable Partners, Sunlight Financial, Brite Energy and Kilowatt Financial were top fundraisers in 2015.

“With the ITC extension, we predict third-party owned financing companies will continue to raise residential and commercial funds in large numbers,” commented Prabhu. Since 2009, third-party owned financing firms offering lease, PPA and loans have raised more than $17 billion.

RELATED: Top U.S. companies increase solar installs by 59 percent 

Corporate M&A transactions in the solar sector in 2015 came to more than $3 billion in 80 transactions, compared to 116 transactions in 2014 for over $4 billion. Solar downstream companies had the greatest number of acquisitions with 49 transactions. SPI Solar acquired four companies and Global EcoPower acquired three companies. The largest disclosed transaction was the $1 billion acquisition of an 80 percent stake in Gestamp Asetym Solar from Gestamp Renewables by KKR, an investment firm.

There were a record 204 large-scale solar project acquisitions for over 12.7 GW, double that of 2014 where 6.4 GW changed hands in 163 transactions. Spurred by yieldcos, 2015 has been by far the best year for solar project acquisitions.

solar industry transactions 2015

Mercom also tracked 373 large-scale project announcements worldwide in Q4 2015 totaling 12 GW and 1,118 project announcements totaling 41.1 GW for 2015 in various stages of development globally.
To learn more about the report, click here.

— Solar Builder magazine

Recurrent Energy, Southern Power take charge of 200-MW Tranquility project

Canadian Solar announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Recurrent Energy, one of North America’s largest solar project developers, signed an agreement with Southern Power for Southern Power to acquire a controlling interest in the 200-MW Tranquillity Solar Power Project in California. The project, developed by Recurrent Energy, is currently under construction.

canadian-solar-logoUnder the terms of the agreement, Southern Power will acquire approximately 51% of the solar generation project. Canadian Solar will retain 49% ownership and contribute its share of the investment required to complete the construction of the project, which the company has fully financed through a construction and back-leveraged loan facility with a syndicate of six banks.

The Tranquillity project, covering an area of 1,900 acres in Fresno County, is expected to reach commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016 with Signal Energy Constructors as the provider of engineering, procurement and construction services. The project is expected to generate enough clean solar energy to power approximately 55,000 homes. The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the facility will be sold to Southern California Edison under a 15-year power purchase agreement.

“The Tranquillity project is an attractive opportunity for investors, providing long term stable cash flows,” said Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar. “This transaction is another example of solar power’s move into the mainstream energy mix, and it shows our broader team’s ability to attract top notch investors to finance our high-quality projects.”

Recurrent Energy has more than 4 GW of solar projects in development in North America.

More solar utility development news? Sure thing.

— Solar Builder magazine