Canadian Solar through its wholly owned subsidiary, Recurrent Energy, has closed on a tax equity investment commitment with GE unit, GE Energy Financial Services, for the 75 MW Astoria 2 solar power project. Recurrent Energy also closed a debt facility for the Astoria 2 project, currently under construction in California.
Recurrent Energy will be the managing member of the Astoria 2 solar power project and plans to own and operate the facility. Santander Bank, N.A. was the coordinating lead arranger of a five member bank club including NORD/LB, Rabobank, Key Bank, and CIT Bank, which will provide project-level construction debt, a letter of credit facility and a back-leveraged term loan facility, totaling approximately $180 million.
The Astoria 2 solar power project, located in Kern County, is expected to reach commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016 and will utilize GE 1500V inverters. The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the facility will be sold under power purchase agreements. The Astoria 2 project is adjacent to the Astoria solar project, which closed financing in November 2015.
Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar, stated:
"The Astoria 2 transaction completes the financing of Recurrent Energy's late-stage portfolio and is our second transaction with GE. The support of this bank club and the expansion of our work with GE reflects our ability to consistently deliver high quality solar assets."
Kevin Walsh, managing director and head of Renewables at GE Energy Financial Services, commented:
"Investing in the Astoria 2 project builds upon our relationships with Recurrent Energy andCanadian Solar and continues the expansion of our global renewable energy footprint"
The Astoria 2 project follows GE Energy Financial Services' investment in the Astoria project and builds upon its investment commitments of $2 billion in nearly two gigawatts of solar power projects worldwide.
Jorge Camina, Head of Project & Acquisition Finance at Santander, added:
"Canadian Solar has executed on a remarkable pipeline of U.S. solar projects in 2015 with the support of Santander. The structuring of this complex transaction with the Company, GE and the other lenders is another major achievement for Santander that will contribute to creating jobs and clean energy."