Wells Fargo & Company (WFC) and 8point3 Energy Partners LP have announced that a joint venture of the two companies has acquired 22 megawatts of SunPower solar power systems under construction at 27 Kern High School District (KHSD) sites in Kern County, California. The acquisition represents the first drop-down transaction for 8point3 Energy Partners.
Under a power purchase agreement, Wells Fargo and 8point3 Energy Partners will sell electricity to the district at competitive rates, providing KHSD a hedge against potential utility rate increases with no upfront capital cost. Once the systems are operational in 2016, the district estimates it will achieve US$80 million in electricity cost savings over 25 years. KHSD will own the renewable energy credits associated with the systems.
At the KHSD sites, SunPower is installing solar carports in the schools' parking lots. The solar carports take advantage of underutilized space and provide needed shade, and they feature SunPower solar panels.
Chuck Boynton, CEO of 8point3 Energy Partners, said:
"We're pleased to announce our first drop-down transaction today, an acquisition that further diversifies our portfolio with a very significant distributed generation asset and strengthens our current position and outlook for long-term growth. We commend Kern High School District for its leadership in solar, and look forward to celebrating the completion of these systems later this year."
Barry Neal, executive vice president of Renewable Energy and Environmental Finance at Wells Fargo, said:
"We are excited about our new joint venture and are proud to contribute to the success of 8point3 Energy Partners and SunPower. We are pleased to provide capital to solar projects that will decrease emissions while reducing costs, and applaud Kern High School District for making such a substantial commitment to solar."