Facebook Partners with Longroad Energy For 379 MW Texas Solar Project

Facebook will be the sole tax equity investor for the project, the company’s first direct investment in a renewable energy project. 

Facebook Energy

Longroad Energy, a US-based renewable energy developer, has announced the financial close and start of construction of its Prospero Solar project in Andrews County, Texas with a total financing package of approximately $416 million. When completed in 2020, Prospero will be one of the largest solar farms in the U.S., with a nameplate capacity of 379 MW. Facebook will be the sole tax equity investor for the project. Facebook has been a global leader in the procurement of clean energy, but this will be the company’s first direct investment in a renewable energy project. 

“Facebook is excited to be one of the first companies to use a direct investment to meet our renewable energy goals,” said Peter Freed, Energy Strategy Manager at Facebook. “We hope such investments can be a new avenue of meaningfully engaging with projects, which might be easier for some companies than a long-term power purchase agreement, thereby unlocking new options for more organizations to meet their goals and grow the market.”

Shell Energy North America (SENA) signed a 12-year Power Purchase Agreement for the project’s power off-take, which is one of the first off-take agreements of this type in the solar industry.

“Facebook is proud to have helped finance a solar project under this innovative off-take arrangement,” said Freed, “we hope our participation will help validate the structure and bring many new solar projects to the grid.”

The Prospero solar farm will cover approximately 4,600 acres in Andrews County, Texas. The project will deliver more than $21 million in property taxes, including more than $12 million to the Andrews ISD. The Project will also create several hundred construction jobs as well as jobs for the operating facility. All told, the Project expects to pay more than $23 million in wages over the project life.

“From our community stakeholders, to our suppliers, energy off-takers and investors, it takes a lot of hard work and cooperation to complete a project of this magnitude,” said Paul Gaynor, CEO of Longroad. “We are extremely lucky to have had such great partners and are proud to bring this much needed clean energy to the market.”

The project will deploy First Solar panels, TMEIC inverters, and NEXTracker tracking systems. Swinerton Renewable Energy will be the EPC contractor for the project and the interconnection will be through Sharyland Utilities.

Both Facebook and Shell will share the renewable energy attributes generated by the project’s energy production.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.