SB Energy secures $2.4 billion for incentive-rich utility-scale solar projects


SB Energy Global announced it has secured a combined $2.4 billion to support a four-project utility-scale solar portfolio.

The 1.3 GW of projects are among the first to take advantage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) domestic content tax credit adder. The projects are also located in qualified Energy Communities, making them eligible for a further tax credit adder under the IRA.

To qualify for the domestic content adder, SB Energy is utilizing 1.1 million domestic content solar modules manufactured in Ohio by First Solar. The project also uses U.S.-made Nextracker tracking, and structural steel from Texas and Georgia.

Projects that achieve prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements are offered a 30% base Investment Tax Credit under the IRA. The domestic content adder and the Energy Community adder include another 10% bonus each, meaning the SB Energy project portfolio may receive a 50% tax credit for the installed system costs of its project portfolio.

The four projects are expected to support over 3,600 new direct and supply chain jobs. They are located in energy communities that have seen higher than average unemployment rates due to recent coal closures or fossil fuel retirements.

“The IRA’s domestic content and energy community incentives were designed to expand America’s manufacturing base and create good-paying jobs in communities that need them,” said Rich Hossfeld, co-chief executive officer, SB Energy.

SB Energy worked with J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley Renewables Inc., and Truist Bank to close approximately $800 million in tax equity. It collaborated with MUFG, Mizuho Americas, ING, SMBC, CIBC, Fifth Third Bank, and Société Générale to raise $450 million in term debt and $1.4 billion in construction debt to build the four projects.

Google is purchasing roughly 75% of the electricity generated by the 1.3 GW of projects to support its growing energy needs at data operations in Texas. The company recently announced it will invest $330 million in the state to open a new datacenter.

J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley Renewables Inc., and Truist Bank provided the tax equity for the Orion I, Eiffel, Orion II, and Orion III projects, respectively. MUFG is the lead lender on the Eiffel and Orion II projects, while Mizuho Americas is the lead lender on Orion I and III. Other lenders for the projects are ING, SMBC, CIBC, Fifth Third Bank, and Société Générale.

“By partnering with leading tax equity investors and lenders on these latest financings, we are extending our track record of deploying renewable generation at scale. Moreover, by utilizing the IRA’s domestic content and energy community adders, we have created a blueprint for deploying clean infrastructure that advances America’s prosperity and wellbeing,” said Gianluca Signorelli, SB Energy head of capital markets.

SB Energy has 2 GW of solar in operation, 1 GW in construction, and over 15 GW of solar and 12 GW of storage under development.

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