8minutenergy Renewables has closed financing and started construction of a 191-megawatt solar project north of Los Angeles in Kern County, California.
8minutenerg, which is an affiliate of D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments, had signed a power purchase agreement for the Springbok 2 Solar Farm with the Southern California Public Power Authority, on behalf of its participating member, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
D. E. Shaw invested the majority of the equity in the project and arranged senior debt financing from a syndicate of lenders led by Santander Bank N.A., which also included CIT Bank, NA, KeyBank, N.A., HSBC Bank, CoBank, ACB, Siemens Financial Services, and Citi. In addition, DESRI arranged a commitment for tax equity financing from State Street Bank & Trust Company and Citi.
The project is sited on up to about 700 acres of abandoned farmland taken out of production more than 20 years ago. 8minutenergy began developing the project in 2011, and it is expected to reach its commercial operations date in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Combined with the 137-MW Springbok 1 Solar Farm that DESRI and 8minutenergy began constructing in July, the two new solar facilities are expected to generate enough clean, renewable energy to serve over 110,300 Los Angeles households.
As with Springbok 1, 8minutenergy selected Swinerton Renewable Energy as the engineering, procurement and construction firm of Springbok 2, with affiliates of 8minutenergy and DESRI overseeing construction management and further development.