Longroad Energy has closed the finances and begun construction on the Sun Streams 3 storage project in Maricopa County, Arizona. The project features 285 MWdc PV and 215 MWac/860 MWh in storage and is expected to begin commercial operations in 2024. It will be the largest solar and storage project in Longroad’s operational portfolio.
“We are pleased to have achieved the key milestones of financial close and commencement of construction on Sun Streams 3, the latest phase of our flagship solar plus storage complex located at one of the most significant power hubs in the western U.S.,” said Paul Gaynor, CEO of Longroad Energy. “Arizona is an important growth market, and Longroad currently has a 4 GW operating and development portfolio in the state.”
Gaynor added that the company believes the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act will enable further development in Arizona and provide significant benefits for utilities and ratepayers.
The Sun Streams 3 project interconnects with the grid at the Hassayampa switchyard, a major transmission hub in the western United States. The project will enhance electrical capacity and system reliability in Arizona. The project’s total output will be purchased by Arizona Public Service (APS) via a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA).
“Arizona is one of the fastest growing states in the country, and it’s our responsibility to keep the lights on year-round for the communities we serve, from homes to hospitals to manufacturing centers,” said Justin Joiner, APS vice president of resource management. “The energy generated by this project will assist APS as we transition to a 100% clean and carbon-free resource mix by 2050 and is one way we are maintaining an affordable, resilient and balanced energy supply for all our customers.”
Longroad acquired Sun Streams 3 from First Solar in early 2021 as part of a larger transaction that included multiple projects in Arizona, including the 200 MWdc Sun Streams 2, which has been operational since 2021, and additional projects that are still in development. Continuing their strong partnership, First Solar is supplying Series 6+ solar modules for the Sun Streams 3 project.
Debt financing was led by CIBC and KeyBank, and included ANZ, Commerzbank, PNC and Silicon Valley Bank. KeyBanc Capital Markets and CIBC served as Coordinating Lead Arrangers. U.S. Bank is the project’s tax equity investor.
During construction, Sun Streams 3 is projected to employ more than 300 people. McCarthy Building Cos., whose renewable energy and storage team is based in Phoenix, was selected as the EPC contractor on the project. McCarthy also built Longroad’s adjacent 200 MWdc Sun Streams 2 solar project.
“It’s very rewarding for our team to be part of building a more sustainable energy infrastructure in Arizona, in partnership with Longroad, and to also be providing members of the local community with career opportunities in the expanding solar industry,” said Scott Canada, executive vice president of McCarthy’s renewable energy and storage team.
The 215 MW/860 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) will be delivered by Powin, a U.S.-based energy storage platform provider with more than 17 GWh of projects deployed, under construction or in contracting. The BESS will include SMA inverters and cells from Envision AESC, which will be integrated into Powin’s modular and scalable Stack 750E energy segment. Longroad, in conjunction with Powin and NovaSource, will provide long-term operations and maintenance services.
Nextracker is supplying trackers for the project and SunGrow is supplying the solar inverters. Comprehensive operations and maintenance services for the project will be provided by NovaSource and Longroad’s affiliate Longroad Energy Services.
Sun Streams 3 will generate more than $65 million in revenue for Arizona schools via long-term leases with the Arizona State Land Department. Longroad extends thanks to the Arizona State Land Department and Maricopa County for their continued support and collaboration through the development and construction of the Sun Streams projects.
— Solar Builder magazine
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