- Once complete, it will be the largest solar project in Duke Energy Renewables’ fleet
- Project will power the equivalent of 40,000 homes
Duke Energy Renewables, a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), is expanding its solar energy portfolio by acquiring the 200-MW Holstein solar project from 8minute Solar Energy. The project, located in Nolan County, Texas, will be the largest in Duke Energy Renewables’ fleet once complete.
“We’re pleased to add another Texas project to our growing renewables portfolio,” said Rob Caldwell, president of Duke Energy Renewables. “The state has some of the best solar resources in the nation, making it a cost-efficient way to meet the energy needs of Texans. Besides clean energy, the project will also bring significant economic benefits to the state.”
The Holstein solar project will be Duke Energy Renewables’ third solar generation facility in Texas.
“There is no question in our mind that solar PV will be the dominant form of energy in Texas in the near future,” said Tom Buttgenbach, president and CEO of 8minute Solar Energy. “We’re proud to be working with Duke Energy and our other partners on this innovative project to deliver low-cost clean power to Texas’ residents and businesses.”
The 200-MW project will contain over 709,000 solar panels across approximately 1,300 acres in Wingate, Texas. Construction began in the summer of 2019 and is expected to be complete in the summer of 2020. The Holstein solar project will power the equivalent of 40,000 homes.
The project will employ up to 400 workers during peak construction.
Duke Energy Renewables acquired the project from 8minute Solar Energy, a leading developer of utility-scale solar projects. 8minute Solar Energy led the development of the project and brought the EPC, operation and maintenance (O&M), hedge, tax equity and debt counterparties to the project.
Much of the energy generated from the Holstein solar project will be sold through a 12-year term hedge agreement to J. Aron & Company LLC., a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs. This is the first Duke Energy Renewables solar project to utilize a hedge agreement.
SunTrust is providing a tax equity investment in the project. CIT Group and a consortium of banks are providing a construction loan, letter of credit and term loan facility for the project.
8minute Solar Energy engaged several advisory firms to close the transaction, including Snapper Creek Energy Advisors as the hedge advisor, CCA Capital providing tax equity and M&A advisory, and Norton Rose Fulbright, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, and Stahl, Davies, Sewell, Chavarria & Friend as legal counsel. The lenders were represented by Winston & Strawn, SunTrust was represented Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, and Duke Energy Renewables was represented by Troutman Sanders and Duggins Wren Mann & Romero.
The facility’s design, procurement of inverters, balance of plant systems and construction of the project are being performed by Blattner Energy. First Solar will provide O&M services for the project for five years beginning when the project has reached substantial completion, which is estimated to be in the summer of 2020.
Duke Energy is one of the nation’s top renewable energy providers – on track to own or purchase 8,000 megawatts of wind, solar and biomass energy by 2020.
Duke Energy Renewables
Duke Energy Renewables, a nonregulated unit of Duke Energy, operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., with a total electric capacity of 3,000 megawatts. The power is sold to electric utilities, electric cooperatives, municipalities, and commercial and industrial customers. The unit also operates energy storage and microgrid projects. Visit Duke Energy Renewables for more information.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, in addition to Duke Energy Renewables’ capacity.
Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2019 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
8minute Solar Energy
8minute Solar Energy (“8minute”) is the largest independent developer of solar PV and storage projects in the United States. Founded a decade ago by President and CEO Tom Buttgenbach, 8minute has over 15 GW of solar and storage under development in California, the Southwest, Texas and the Southeast, with more than 2 GW of solar power plants now in operation. The company has also developed the largest solar plant in the nation, the 800-MW Mount Signal solar farm in California. 8minute has one of the best development teams in the industry with a track record of delivering above-market profitability and strong financial returns on utility-scale solar and storage projects. For more information, please visit www.8minute.com.