US clean power developer Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE) has successfully raised $580 million in tax commitments and debt facilities to support two renewable power projects, including the 179MW White Wing Ranch solar farm in Arizona. Wells Fargo leads the tax equity commitment, while Mizuho Bank, the National Bank of Canada, Société Générale, and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank participate in providing the debt facility. The White Wing Ranch project, currently under construction, is expected to be commissioned in the second half of 2024.
The financing will also aid in the redevelopment of LRE's GSG wind portfolio in the state of Illinois. Chris Loehr, Senior Vice President of Finance at LRE, stated, “This key milestone reflects the continued confidence from leading financial institutions and knowledgeable investors in LRE's growth plans and our ability to execute. We have completed a record amount of financing for LRE projects this year and we are looking forward to carrying this momentum into 2024.”
Recently, Terabase utilized its Terafab autonomous construction system at the White Wing Ranch solar project, installing 17MW of solar panel capacity. This technological deployment, coupled with the additional funding commitment, underscores LRE's confidence in the project's success and signals positive prospects for the broader solar sector in Arizona.
As of Q2 this year, Arizona has 6.5GW of installed solar capacity, ranking fifth among US states, according to the US Solar Energy Information Administration (SEIA). The SEIA anticipates developers adding 9.8GW of new capacity in the state over the next five years, marking the fourth-highest in the country. The Arizona Public Services utility has also unveiled plans to install 6GW of new solar and wind capacity between 2025 and 2031, aiming to replace power generation from retiring coal plants amidst a growing interest in solar and storage projects in the state.