Longroad Energy, a US-based renewable energy developer, closed the financing and sale of the Muscle Shoals Solar project, a 294 MW project located in Colbert County, Ala. Ørsted, the global renewable energy company, acquired the project at financial closing. Muscle Shoals Solar, the largest renewable energy project in Alabama, is expected to come online mid 2021 and Longroad Energy will manage the construction.
“Longroad is pleased with the results of our development and financing efforts,” said Charles Spiliotis, Chief Investment Officer of Longroad. “Closing renewable energy projects in the face of the global pandemic is a testament to the quality of the project, our team’s capabilities in development and financing, and our track record of delivering high quality, competitive investments.”
The Muscle Shoals Solar project is expected to employ 300 people during the peak of construction activities. During construction, more than $1 million in sales and use tax revenue is expected to be generated. In the first 20 years of operations, the project is expected to deliver over $15 million in incremental property taxes, much of which will be directed to education.
“This project is our ninth development project completed since Longroad’s inception less than four years ago,” Spiliotis added. “We would like to thank the Colbert County Commission for its excellent work fostering an environment for business and innovation in the Shoals region. We are also grateful for the collaboration of the Shoals Economic Development Authority (SEDA), whose support has been critical to the project’s success. We look forward to continuing to work with the Commission and SEDA on this project and future initiatives.”
The project has a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority (“TVA”). “As the nation’s largest public power utility, TVA is a leader in driving the growth of renewable energy that strengthens our whole region,” said Chris Hansen, vice president, TVA Origination and Renewables. “Developing clean, low-cost, reliable solar energy is a tremendous asset in terms of driving jobs and investment into the communities we serve across seven-states.”
The major project components are as follows:
- EPC contract with Swinerton Renewable Energy
- Panel supply with First Solar, using Series 6 technology
- Inverter supply with Power Electronics
- Tracker supply with NEXTracker
Wells Fargo is the sole tax equity investor in the project. “Wells Fargo is pleased to provide tax-equity financing for significant projects – like Muscle Shoals – that contribute to a more sustainable future,” said Andrew Kho, Head of Originations for Wells Fargo’s Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance group. “This investment supports our pledge to provide $200 billion in financing through 2030 to businesses and projects helping to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.”
— Solar Builder magazine