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Lightsource bp closes financing for Texas solar projects
Starr Solar and Second Division to add 288MW to US state’s electricity grid
Michael Marray 28 Feb 2024

Lightsource bp, one of the world’s largest solar developers, has closed a US$348 million financing package to support the construction and operation of a 288-megawatt (MWdc) solar portfolio in Texas.

It comprises two utility-scale solar projects, the 163MW Starr Solar project in Starr County and the 125MW Second Division Solar project in Brazoria County.

The financing includes a suite of transferability facilities made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, which seeks to promote clean energy, among other provisions. The package features both a transferability bridge loan and an equity partner bridge loan.

Société Générale served as the coordinating lead arranger and hedge provider. ING served as a mandated lead arranger, hedge provider, green loan coordinator, as well as the administrative agent and collateral agent. Lloyds Banking Group served as a mandated lead arranger and hedge provider. Other MLAs were Allied Irish Banks and NatWest.

Construction of both solar farms is underway, with both projects scheduled to come online in 2024.

 “This deal is an important milestone towards building out our growing portfolio of solar and storage projects across the United States, extending our relationship with several top-tier financing counterparties, each of whom have partnered with Lightsource bp on previous transactions," says Emilie Wangerman, head of USA and chief operating officer (interim) at Lightsource bp. "It’s also our first transaction to benefit from the transferability provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 to monetize the projects’ investment tax credits.”

Lightsource bp has raised over US$4.6 billion of third-party capital since 2019, supporting the commercialization of its US renewable energy projects. The Starr and Second Division solar projects will join Lightsource bp’s operational fleet, bringing additional diversification to the Texas electric grid, which is especially important during extreme weather conditions. Lightsource bp currently operates three solar projects in Texas – Impact (260MW), Elm Branch (163MW) and Briar Creek Solar (153MW).

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