Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) has agreed to provide $145 million in equity financing for SunEdison’s new 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, California, 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, and executed the structured financing, and is also constructing the Regulus project. TerraForm Power will own the plant, which represents 10% of the 808 MW in the initial TerraForm portfolio.
The 737 acre 82 MW PV 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.
“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, most recently partnering with SunPower to provide $250 million for solar leases. This new agreement represents the 17th renewable energy investment project for Google.
Prudential Capital Group and Santander Bank, N.A. provided term financing for the project.
“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.
TerraForm Power, the owner of the system, is majority owned by SunEdison. Operations and maintenance for the system will be performed by the SunEdison Renewable Operation Center, which provides global 24/7 asset management, monitoring, and reporting services.