Sunrise brief: Community solar player Nexamp lines up $440m to fuel its growth


Community solar developer Nexamp closed a $440 million senior secured credit facility for a 380 MW portfolio of solar and energy storage assets. The portfolio covers five states and includes some 100 community solar projects, including energy storage capacity totaling 120 MWh. MUFG Union Bank served as the lead arranger for the syndicated financing, which included a group of lenders. Nexamp said it has nearly 300 new solar and storage projects in its development pipeline.

‘Cowboy up,’ regulators tell Texans

Texas utility regulators declined on March 5 to roll back some of the $16 billion that the state’s grid operator may have overcharged power companies during February’s winter storm. For now, at least, regulators are signaling that Texans should live with the downside of a power market that can have rare, but eye-watering, price spikes.

At least some Texas electricity customers could have benefited from a move to adjust the electricity market prices for the week of the storm.

“I totally get how it looks like you’re protecting consumers” by readjusting electric prices, Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Chair Arthur D’Andrea was quoted as saying. “But I promise you you’re not.” D’Andrea was named by Gov. Greg Abbott to replace DeAnn Walker as chair following her resignation in early March over the PUC’s handling of the power crisis.

Arthur D’Andrea

D’Andrea reportedly said that a retroactive decision would have winners and losers. “You don’t know who you’re hurting. And you think you’re protecting the consumer, and it turns out you’re bankrupting [someone else],” he was quoted as saying.

Independent market monitor Potomac Economics had called on regulators to roll back the market price for power for at least part of the week of the storm. During the storm, regulators directed the Electric Reliability Corporation of Texas (ERCOT) to set wholesale power prices at $9,000/MWh, the maximum price.

ERCOT remained at its highest level of emergency alert until the morning of Feb. 19, five days after the storm hit. Potomac Economics said that correcting the apparent overcharge would not result in any revenue shortfalls for ERCOT’s generation resources. It said that corrected prices would cover the generator’s as-offered costs and reflect the actual supply, demand, and reserves during the roughly 33 hours from midnight Feb. 18 to 9:00 a.m. Feb. 19.

Enphase tech on senior housing

Microinverter company Enphase Energy said that Urban Solar deployed a large-scale commercial solar system using its technology at the Praxis of Deerfield Beach senior living community in Florida. Solar arrays cover nine buildings and are expected to produce more than 1 million kWh of electricity in its first year of operation. Enphase said it supplied almost 1,800 of its IQ 7+ microinverters managed by nine Envoy communications gateway devices. The gateway devices connect to a software monitoring platform. The 224-unit senior living community is owned by MRK Partners. It was originally built in a master meter configuration, for which the local utility required the use of a single-phase solar system.

Japan deals for Canadian Solar

Canadian Solar completed the sale of two operational projects in Japan totaling 61 MW to Canadian Solar Infrastructure Fund for roughly $283 million. To finance the acquisition of the 53 MW Oita Hiji-machi and 8 MW Miyagi Ogawara projects, the infrastructure fund recently raised more than $166 million on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Canadian Solar participated in the deal and owns 15% of the infrastructure fund, which also issued more than $175 million of long-term debt to maintain its capital structure. Since the infrastructure fund’s listing in October 2017, it has grown to own 25 solar power plants totaling 184 MW across Japan.

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