GCL Energy receives $60 million for 84 MW solar portfolio in North Carolina

This 60-acre solar farm is one of eight projects being built in GCL New Energy in Wilson County, N.C., for which the developer received $59.8 million in financing from CIT Bank.

It seems if you’re planning on making a splash in the U.S. solar market, one of the best places to be these days is North Carolina – and one Chinese firm plans to use the state as a springboard to what it hopes will eventually be an extensive U.S. solar portfolio.

The latest beneficiary of this North Carolina boom is Wilson County, thanks to a $59.8 million influx of cash to China-based GCL New Energy, which will use the money to complete an 84.5 MW-DC, eight-project group. Three of the projects are expected to be producing power for the city of Wilson by Friday, according to the company.

Built on approximately 430 acres of land, GCL’s plants are being constructed under 10-year, fixed-rate power contracts with North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency.

GCL New Energy, the development arm of polysilicon and wafer giant GCL-Poly, sees the North Carolina projects as the beginning of an extensive solar portfolio it plans to have in the United States.

“The projects will provide clean and cost-efficient green energy to Wilson County residents and businesses,” said Jimmy Chuang, chief structured finance officer of GCL. “We are very excited to expand our energy portfolio in the United States and North Carolina. ”

CIT Group served as sole lead arranger and administrative agent for a $59.8 million construction and ta- equity bridge loan and back-levered term loan facility to GCL. Financing was provided by CIT Bank, the principal bank subsidiary of CIT. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with CIT,” said Peng Fang, president & CEO, GCL New Energy, Inc. “With our continued commitment to bring green power to life and this provision of new capital, we stand ready to invest in the solar business and create more job opportunities in the United States.”