Longroad Energy begins construction of its largest solar-plus-storage project


Longroad Energy, a renewable energy developer, announced the financial close and commencement of construction of the Sun Streams 3 project.  Located in Maricopa County, Arizona, the 285 MWdc solar and 215 MWac / 860 MWh storage project will be the largest solar-plus-storage project in Longroad’s operational portfolio.

“Arizona is an important growth market, and Longroad currently has a 4 GW operating and development portfolio in the state.  Longroad believes the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act will enable further development in the state and provide significant benefits for utilities and ratepayers,” said Paul Gaynor, chief executive officer of Longroad Energy.

Sun Streams 3 will provide enough electricity to power 90,000 homes, which will be purchased by APS under a long-term power purchase agreement.

Longroad acquired Sun Streams 3 from First Solar in early 2021 as part of a transaction that included multiple projects in Arizona, including the 200 MWdc Sun Streams 2 solar project. Sun Streams 2 came online in 2021 and has a 20-year revenue agreement with Microsoft for the project’s energy, renewable energy credits, and offtake capacity, which will support a Microsoft datacenter region known as West US 3.

First Solar is supplying Series 6+ solar modules for the Sun Streams 3 project. The battery energy storage system (BESS) will be delivered by Powin, a U.S.-based energy storage system provider. The BESS will include SMA inverters and cells from Envision AESC. Nextracker is supplying trackers for the project and SunGrow is supplying the inverters.   Operations and maintenance services will be provided by NovaSource and Longroad’s affiliate Longroad Energy Services.

Debt financing was led by CIBC and KeyBank, and included ANZ, Commerzbank, PNC and Silicon Valley Bank. KeyBanc Capital Markets and CIBC served as Coordinating Lead Arrangers.  U.S. Bank is the project’s tax equity investor.

“We believe everyone has a role to play in creating a sustainable future and helping reduce the impacts of climate change,” said Eric Barr, business development officer with U.S. Bancorp’s Environmental Finance team. “Investments like this are one way we can do our part and we’re proud to partner again with Longroad to expand access to clean energy.”

During construction, Sun Streams 3 is projected to employ over 300 people. McCarthy Building Companies, which also built the adjacent Sun Streams 2 project, was selected as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor on the project.

The project represents 460,000 metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions annually, or the equivalent of taking ~100,000 cars off the road for as long as the project operates. Sun Streams 3 will generate more than $65 million in revenue for Arizona schools through long-term leases with the Arizona State Land Department.

Longroad Energy was one of five companies ranked in Mercom’s 2022 solar funding report among the top corporate financings, with $500 million raised in August 2022 from MEAG, the asset management arm of Munich Re, and prior investors the NZ Super Fund and Infratil.  Formed in 2016, Longroad has developed or acquired 4.3 GW of renewable energy projects across the United States and has raised $10 billion of equity, debt, and tax equity to support completion of its portfolio. Today, Longroad owns over 2.4 GW of wind, solar, and storage projects and operates and manages a total of 4.0 GW on behalf of Longroad and third parties.

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