SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE: SUNE), a leading global solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar energy services, announced that Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) has agreed to provide $145 million in equity financing for the Regulus solar plant. When completed, the Regulus solar project will be SunEdison's largest developed and constructed project in North America. Located in Kern County, Calif., the Regulus plant will begin operation later this year, and will supply power to Southern California Edison through a 20-year power purchase agreement. SunEdison developed, designed, executed the structured financing and is constructing the Regulus project, which was contributed to TerraForm Power and represents 10% of the 808 MW DC in the initial TerraForm portfolio.
The 737-acre 82 MW DC solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant is in construction on an abandoned gas and oil field, and will be comprised of over 248,000 SunEdison mono-crystalline solar PV modules. Once operational, Regulus is expected to produce enough energy to completely power over 10,000 homes, with CO2 reductions equivalent to not burning 125 million pounds of coal annually.
"From developing the technology, to constructing the facility, to establishing mutually beneficial financial partnerships with leaders like Google, Prudential and Santander Bank, N.A., Regulus is a prime example of how SunEdison's end-to-end approach benefits everyone involved in a solar project," said Bob Powell, president, North America at SunEdison. "That we've already made such progress on a project that broke ground in December 2013 is a testament to the speed and efficiency of our process."
"We believe the world needs a wide range of clean energy technologies, each serving different needs," said Nick Coons, renewable energy principal at Google. "This project with SunEdison presented an opportunity to take an old gas and oil field and turn it into a clean energy producing solar site. It made sense to support it on multiple levels."
Google has signed agreements to fund over $1.5 billion in renewable energy investments across three continents with a total planned capacity of more than 2.5 GW (gigawatts). This agreement represents the 17th renewable energy investment project for Google and supports its continued push towards a clean energy future.
Prudential Capital Group, a Prudential Financial asset management business, and Santander Bank, N.A., one of the largest retail banks in the U.S. by deposits, provided term financing for the project. The Santander Group has supported the construction of over six gigawatts of U.S. renewable energy projects since 2011, having invested more than $2 billion through debt, cash equity and tax equity in 36 transactions.
"Our participation in the Regulus transaction with SunEdison marks our seventh bank-institutional hybrid financing executed in partnership with Prudential Capital Group," said Jorge Camina, head of project and acquisition finance in the United States for Santander.
Ric Abel, managing director of Prudential Capital Group's Energy Finance Group – Power, furthered, "This financing opportunity not only allowed us to build on our long-standing relationship with SunEdison and Santander, but also to support California's goals for a clean energy future."
TerraForm Power, the owner of the system, is majority owned by SunEdison and reflects the company's commitment to the quality and long term performance of their solar systems. Operation and maintenance for the system will be performed by the SunEdison Renewable Operation Center (ROC), which provides global 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services.