8minutenergy Renewables, LLC ("8minutenergy"), the leading independent solar developer in the U.S., announced the closing of debt and tax equity financing for its 26 megawatt Redwood 4 Solar Farm located in Kern County, California. The company also announced that project construction has begun, and is expected to be completed later this year. Redwood 4 is the fourth 8minutenergy project in the combined 100 megawatt Redwood solar cluster near Bakersfield.
Although terms of the transaction are not being disclosed, Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ: ZION) is providing the project's construction debt and bridge loan, while U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) is providing the tax equity investment. 8minutenergy will maintain ownership under the terms of the deal. Pacific Gas and Electric Company ("PG&E") has entered into an agreement to purchase the clean energy produced by Redwood 4, and the plant is being built as a dedicated resource for PG&E's Solar Choice program.
"8minutenergy's goal is to deliver abundant, affordable solar energy through impeccable execution of utility-scale project development. Redwood 4 is delivering on that promise to provide renewable energy to tens of thousands of Californians, and we're proud to own this beneficial project," commented Martin Hermann, CEO and Founder, 8minutenergy.
"8minutenergy led the entire greenfield development and financing process for Redwood 4, and will now manage construction and operations as the long-term owner, all of which demonstrate our ability to deliver high-quality solar assets from inception to operation," said Tom Buttgenbach, President and Co-Founder, 8minutenergy. "We are grateful to have reached today's milestone with our trusted partners, Zions Bancorporation and U.S. Bancorp, and look forward to future transactions with both financiers. Their flexibility, competence, and shared dedication to driving clean energy adoption is evident."
"We were pleased that the team at 8minutenergy entrusted us to be the sole lender on this important financing, and we look forward to growing our relationship with them," said Michael MacDonald, Managing Director and Head of Loan Syndications, Power & Project Finance for Zions Bancorporation.
"Sustainability is a key tenet to our investment strategy, and we are thrilled to have found a winning combination with 8minutenergy and their utility-scale development approach. We will continue to seek valuable renewable energy projects such as Redwood 4," said Adam Altenhofen, Vice President, at U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, the division of U.S. Bancorp managing the transaction.
8minutenergy's three other projects in the Redwood solar cluster have been operational since the end of 2015, and are now owned by sPower. Upon completion of this fourth farm, the cluster will have a combined annual production capacity of nearly 200 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity - enough energy to power more than 20,000 homes, and reduce carbon emissions by more than 140,000 metric tons each year. Redwood 4's development and construction is also creating nearly 200 jobs in Kern County.
About 8minutenergy Renewables, LLC
Founded in 2009, 8minutenergy Renewables is the nation's largest independent developer of solar PV and storage projects. To date, 8minutenergy has 7.5 GW of PV and 1 GW of storage under development in North America, operates 700+ MW in solar assets, and been awarded more than 1.5 GW in power purchase agreements. The company is developing some of the largest solar plants in the world, including the 800 MW Mount Signal farm in California. 8minutenergy has an unmatched ability to produce affordable clean energy, and to deliver strong financial returns on utility-scale solar and storage projects. For more information, please visit www.8minutenergy.com.
About Zions Bancorporation
Zions Bancorporation is one of the nation's premier financial services companies with total assets exceeding $65 billion. Zions operates under local management teams and distinct brands in 11 western states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The company is a national leader in Small Business Administration lending and public finance advisory services, and is a consistent top recipient of Greenwich Excellence awards in banking. In addition, Zions is included in the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Financial 100 indices. Investor information and links to local banking brands can be accessed at zionsbancorporation.com.
About U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation
With $24 billion in managed assets as of June 30, 2017, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of U.S. Bank, provides innovative financing solutions for community development projects across the country using state and federally sponsored tax credit programs. USBCDC's commitments provide capital investment to areas that need it the most and have contributed to the creation of new jobs, the rehabilitation of historic buildings, the construction of needed affordable and market-rate homes, the development of renewable energy facilities, and the generation of commercial economic activity in underserved communities. Visit USBCDC on the web at www.usbank.com/cdc.
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