Swift Current Energy has successfully concluded the project financing for its 800MWdc (593MWac) Double Black Diamond Solar project in the United States, securing an impressive sum of $779 million.
Upon becoming operational, this site is anticipated to become the second-largest single-phase solar venture in the nation. Additionally, it will hold the distinction of being the largest solar initiative within the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) region.
This ambitious project is set to generate an annual energy output equivalent to powering over 100,000 homes.
Positioned 30 miles west of Springfield, Illinois, the Double Black Diamond Solar project is presently undergoing construction with plans for energization in 2024.
Notably, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), Societe Generale, and Truist have acted as coordinating lead arrangers, while MUFG and Societe Generale have jointly fulfilled the role of Joint Bookrunners for this groundbreaking project financing endeavor.
The financial arrangement encompasses $695 million in construction and tax equity bridge loans, in addition to an $84 million letter of credit facility. This deal ranks among the most substantial project financings ever for a solar project in the United States.
ING has assumed the role of Green Loan Structuring Agent, while Wilmington Trust has taken on the responsibilities of Collateral Agent and Depositary Agent. Swift Current Energy is the developer of the project and will serve as its long-term owner and operator.
Eric Lammers, the CEO and co-founder of Swift Current, expressed the transformative nature of the Double Black Diamond Solar project, emphasizing its positive impact on job creation, emission-free energy generation, and community revenue. Lammers highlighted the collaboration with financial partners and the expansion of this collaboration with the inclusion of Truist.
Louise Pesce, Managing Director of Project Finance at MUFG, underscored the bank’s dedication to supporting the transition to renewable energy.
Ahmed Maqsood, Energy+ Group Director at Societe Generale, commented on the bank’s gratification in supporting a project that contributes to the state’s economy and renewable energy demand. Uzoma Enyinna, Director of Project Finance at Truist Securities, echoed the satisfaction in contributing to a greener future alongside Swift Current Energy.
The project’s ownership includes BAES Infrastructure, IFM Net Zero Infrastructure Fund, and Lookout Ridge Energy Partners, with BAES Infrastructure serving as the majority owner. BAES Infrastructure’s CEO, Jamie Cemm, recognized the meaningful advancement of the energy transition and the economic benefits brought to local communities.
Neil Doherty, Executive Director of Infrastructure at IFM Investors, hailed this as a landmark achievement for Swift Current Energy and a significant stride towards establishing the company as a leading independent power producer.
Double Black Diamond Solar is projected to contribute $100 million in tax revenue to Sangamon and Morgan counties in central Illinois throughout its operational lifespan.
Legal representation for this transaction was provided by Vinson & Elkins LLP and Husch Blackwell LLP for Swift Current, and Paul Hastings LLP advised MUFG, Societe Generale, Truist, and other lenders involved in the financing agreements.
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