Longroad Energy starts construction on 377 MW Arizona solar project


Longroad Energy, a Massachusetts-based renewable energy systems developer, announced the financial close and start of construction of Sun Streams 4.

The project, located in Maricopa County, Arizona, includes 377 MWdc solar panels and a 300 MW alternating current battery energy storage system (BESS) with a duration of 1200 MWh.  It is expected to begin operating in mid-2025.

Other projects developed by Longroad include Sun Streams 2, a 200 MWdc solar project that started operating in the middle of 2021. Suns Streams 3 is a 285 MWdc solar panel and 215 MWac storage facility that is expected to begin running next year. Suns Streams 3 storage duration is 860 MW/h. All of Longroad’s facilities are based in Arizona. 

Sun Streams 4 will use bifacial solar silicon panels supplied by Ohio-based First Solar. The panels used for this project will produce up to 480 W and have a 0.3% annual degradation rate, the company reports. Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC) will provide inverters along with lithium-ion cells for Sun Streams 4 BESS.

The BESS will be integrated with Powin’s Modular and Scalable Centipede Energy Storage Platform, and Powin will manage long-term operations and maintenance (O&M) services for Longroad’s latest facility in conjunction with NovaSource Power Services. The latter also offers O&M services for solar panel installations.

Longroad will leverage Nextracker’s solar tracker technology to ensure Sun Streams 4’s panels maximize solar production by following the sun all day. Sungrow solar inverters were selected for the project.

Longroad states that Sun Streams 4 will generate over 200 jobs during the building phase. McCarthy Building Companies Inc., a commercial construction business, will manage the engineering, procurement and development part of the project, as its renewable energy team is based in Arizona. This decision also represents the continuation of McCarthy’s partnership with Longroad as the contractor developed Sun Streams 2 and is currently building Suns Streams 3. 

Construction workers and engineers are expected to receive prevailing wages per Arizona’s labor laws. Prevailing wages are yet to be determined, as the Department of Labor is currently surveying heavy highway construction industries to set wage rates. Longroad is including Registered Apprenticeship provisions that allow workers to get paid experience in conjunction with classroom training. Both are requirements for companies leveraging the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) Tax Credit program for applicable green energy projects.

Longroad states that Sun Streams 4 will add over $100 million to Arizona’s economy through long-term leases with the Arizona State Land Department and tax remittances. The funds will go toward improving state schools and the quality of life for Arizona communities.

Longroad has entered a power purchase agreement with Arizona Public Service (APS), the state’s largest electric utility provider. The joint venture is meant to help increase grid reliability in the state, especially during the peak summer demand months, as Suns Streams 4’s total output is enough to power 120,000 homes. 

Longroad acquired debt financing led by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). CIBC directed a group of investors, including financial services company The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, U.S. Bank tax credit investments and syndications subsidiary U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance and German universal bank Commerzbank AG through the loan process. 

“Sun Streams 4 has the distinction of being Longroad’s largest project to date by both megawatts and investment capital,” said Paul Gaynor, chief executive officer of Longroad Energy.

The organization has 4.9 GW of domestic renewable energy projects. Longroad has obtained over $12.8 billion worth of equity, debt and tax equity to fund its renewables portfolio. 

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