Origis Energy secures $136 million in financing for Florida municipal solar project | Solar Financing Spotlight

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While Origis Energy has acquired financing for a major solar project in Florida, other companies have acquired significant project portfolios, plus the latest investment and merger news in the industry in this installment of the Solar Financing Spotlight.   

Origis Energy closed on a $136 million construction financing facility and conversion to term loan with global financial group MUFG for the 75 MW Rice Creek Solar project. Currently under construction in Putnam County, Florida, the project will serve the Florida Municipal Power Agency and its members.

With construction nearing completion, the Rice Creek Solar project is a PV solar facility contracted by the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) for its members and is part of one of the largest municipal-backed solar initiatives in the nation. FMPA will serve as the project coordinator for their member-owners, who will purchase power from the Rice Creek Solar facility. Origis Energy is the builder, owner and operator of the project.

“Origis and MUFG continue to build a strong alliance. MUFG’s deep expertise in this sector and their well-defined underwriting process enable Origis to focus on speed to market and successful scaling of our business,” said Vikas Anand, Chief Executive Officer, Origis Energy. “Rice Creek Solar is a perfect example of moving the clean energy transition forward through collaborative municipal programs. We thank MUFG for their support and look forward to delivering the project for FMPA.”

Latham & Watkins represented Origis Energy in the transaction, with Akerman LLP serving as Local Counsel. Milbank, LLP acted as MUFG’s counsel, with Greenberg Traurig LLP serving as MUFG’s Local Counsel.

Rice Creek Solar is expected to qualify for an Energy Community Adder to Investment Tax Credits, under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provisions. The additional IRA incentive is rare for Florida-based solar projects and is due to its proximity to a recently decommissioned coal power plant in the same census tract. 

Nova Clean Energy acquires 1 GW clean energy asset portfolio in Texas

Nova Clean Energy has acquired HyFuels, a more than 1 GW portfolio of mid- to late-stage wind and solar development projects as well as an earlier stage green ammonia project. Located on the Texas Gulf Coast, an area of rapidly increasing power demand and a leading center for U.S.-produced ammonia, HyFuels is situated to serve the petrochemical industry, ensuring Texas remains the global leader in this essential industry. 

HyFuels, which has a current project footprint of about 25,000 acres, has a power supply that is split evenly between wind and solar, whose complementary generation profiles will ensure a steady supply of clean local power. The first phase of the project is expected to reach full notice to proceed (NTP) in 2025 and commercial operations in 2026.  

Nova acquired HyFuels from BNB Renewable Energy, a developer with a nearly 20-year track record of developing wind and solar projects across the United States and in Mexico, including for a range of industrial clients. Nova has entered into a long-term development services agreement with BNB, which originated the development in late 2020, ensuring full alignment on the successful delivery of the HyFuels project. 

“The Texas grid is going to continue to need a variety of power sources to serve its fast-growing demand,” said Nova president Ben Pratt. “Wind paired with solar provides a generation profile that industrial as well as utility customers increasingly want to see. We are excited to work with BNB on this important portfolio.” 

Since its formation in 2022, Nova has grown rapidly across wind, solar and battery storage.

Aspen Power acquires commercial solar portfolio in New York and Pennsylvania

Aspen Power has acquired eight ground-mounted solar projects in Pennsylvania and New York State from Solar Site Developers.

Totaling more than 41 MWdc, the projects are currently in the engineering design stage, with construction expected to begin in the coming months. The Pennsylvania projects will be net-metered under Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard Act, while the New York projects will provide bill credits to utility customers via the Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER) program.

“We’re proud to advance decarbonization together with the team at Solar Site Developers, who have been committed partners in the preliminary stages of bringing these projects to life,” said Dan Gulick, senior VP, community solar, Aspen Power. “Building on Aspen Power’s portfolios in the Keystone state as well as our home state of New York is a key element of achieving our goal of gigawatt-scale in the coming years.”

Ridgewood Infrastructure invests in MN8 Energy

Investment firm Ridgewood Infrastructure LLC has made a strategic investment in MN8 Energy LLC, an independent U.S. solar energy producer. This investment will help facilitate the ongoing growth of MN8’s portfolio of solar, storage and EV charging projects.

“Ridgewood Infrastructure is committed to investing in companies that lead the way in sustainability-focused infrastructure. Our investment in MN8 reflects our dedication to supporting renewable energy initiatives that not only benefit the environment but also offer long-term, sustainable solutions for communities,” said Michael Albrecht, managing partner of Ridgewood Infrastructure.

This partnership is expected to generate significant economic and environmental benefits. “The investment provides MN8 with the financial means and capital to scale our growth, engineer innovative solutions for our clients, and deliver enhanced value to our shareholders,” said Jon Yoder, president and CEO of MN8. The investment will also contribute to job creation in the green energy sector and promote the use of renewable energy sources, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Wells Fargo served as Ridgewood’s exclusive financial advisor and King & Spalding represented Ridgewood on this transaction.

SolaTrue merges with Southern Solar

Forth Worth, Texas-based SolaTrue has merged with Southern Solar.

“Through the merger of SolaTrue and Southern Solar, we’ve embarked on a future powered by sustainable innovation,” said Shane Lynch, president of SolaTrue. “This merger reinforces our commitment to delivering cutting-edge solar solutions while staying true to the values of transparency and honesty we hold at SolaTrue. Together, we are not just shaping an industry; we are pioneering a path where integrity meets innovation, setting new standards for a brighter, more sustainable tomorrow.”

Effective Jan. 1 but announced in April, SolaTrue merged with Southern Solar, consolidating operations under the SolaTrue name. This strategic decision signifies an advancement in its dedication to sustainable energy solutions and strengthening its position in the renewable energy sector.

“This merger brings together the expertise and resources of Southern Solar and SolaTrue, creating a force in the renewable energy industry,” Lynch said. “Our shared vision is to contribute to a greener and more sustainable future by harnessing the potential of solar power.”

— Solar Builder magazine

[source: https://solarbuildermag.com/projects/origis-energy-secures-136-million-florida-project-solar-financing-spotlight/]



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