Lightsource bp has successfully closed on a $267 million tax equity investment from financial services firm Wells Fargo & Co. The financing leverages the Production Tax Credit (PTC) structure made available for solar companies in the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
The investment will support the construction and operation of a two-project portfolio in Louisiana and Arkansas totaling 481 MWdc, which are among the largest projects in each state. The projects include:
- 346 MW Oxbow Solar in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana, with energy sales to McDonald’s and eBay.
- 135 MW Conway Solar near Happy, Arkansas, with energy sales to Conway Corp.
Wells Fargo’s tax equity investment is in addition to Lightsource bp’s sponsor equity investment and complements the debt financing package which originally closed in December 2021.
”We are pleased to support Lightsource bp in its efforts to supply low-cost, emission-free solar electricity in Louisiana and Arkansas,” said Shane Easter, a director with Wells Fargo’s Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance group. “Providing expertise and capital to important customers like Lightsource bp is part of our commitment to deploy $500 billion in sustainable financing by 2030 to support our customers and communities as they transition to a resilient, equitable and sustainable future.”
As the tax equity investor, Wells Fargo is now the eighth global financial institution to support this portfolio of projects, joining other lenders like HSBC Bank USA, ING Capital LLC, Societe Generale, NatWest, Intesa Sanpaolo, Standard Chartered Bank and Allied Irish Banks.
Both projects are scheduled to come online starting in 2023, creating 600 direct construction jobs.
“This investment is a great example of the positive impact that top tier financial institutions with meaningful commitments to sustainability such as Wells Fargo can make to help accelerate our country’s transition to a low-carbon economy and reduce the impacts of climate change that affect lives and livelihoods,” said Kevin Smith, Lightsource bp’s CEO of the Americas. “The new tax credit options and stable policy environment for job growth made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act will further incentivize investment and spur the growth of America’s solar industry.”
— Solar Builder magazine