Canadian Solar Inc. announced this week that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Recurrent Energy, LLC, commenced construction on the 144 megawatt alternative current Pflugerville Solar Project located in Travis County, Texas. The Pflugerville Solar Project is expected to create long-term permanent jobs to support the operation and maintenance of the power plant, as well as more than 350 construction jobs of which at least 50% will be performed by local workers.
“We are thrilled about this partnership with Recurrent Energy on the Pflugerville Solar Project,” said Jackie Sargent, Austin Energy General Manager. “The project not only expands our renewable portfolio and advances our climate protection goals, it is also located near our customer base.”
By partnering with Austin Energy on the Pflugerville Solar Project, Recurrent Energy is further expanding its footprint in Texas. Recurrent Energy’s Texas partnerships to date include vertically-integrated utilities, a leading Electric Reliability Council of Texas load serving entity, and multiple commercial and industrial offtakers.
Recurrent Energy signed a Power Purchase Agreement with Austin Energy in 2018 for the Pflugerville Solar Project to provide low-cost solar power to the utility’s customers for 15 years following the start of operation. This PPA supports Austin Energy’s renewable energy goals which commit the utility to cost-effectively reduce emissions and includes plans to exit from its coal-fired power generation by the end of 2022. Austin Energy serves more than 500,000 customers in the City of Austin, as well as several neighboring areas of Travis County and Williamson County.
The project will also have a positive economic impact on the local community by providing tax revenues for Travis County and the Elgin Independent School District, which will total approximately $350 million throughout the life of the project. Once operational, the Pflugerville Solar Project is expected to generate enough low-cost clean electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 25,000 Texas homes.
To support construction of the Pflugerville Solar Project, Recurrent Energy recently closed debt and tax equity financing totaling over $234 million. The tax equity financing was provided by U.S. Bank and the debt financing was provided by a bank club led by CIT Bank, which included Norddeutsche Landesbank, Rabobank, and Zions Bank.
“Recurrent Energy is well recognized as a top developer of renewable energy projects,” said Mike Lorusso, managing director and group head for CIT’s Power and Energy unit. “We are pleased to work them on this financing and proud to play a continuing role in supporting the expansion of renewable power throughout the U.S.”
— Solar Builder magazine