With $500 million of Production Tax Credits, 600 MW Solar Project Moves Ahead In US

With $500 million of Production Tax Credits, 600 MW Solar Project Moves Ahead In US

Vesper Energy, a developer, owner, and operator of utility-scale renewable energy assets, has announced the closing of financing for its Hornet Solar project. The asset will deliver renewable energy to communities throughout Texas, provide grid stability, and mitigate price volatility in Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) which provides power to the grid in the state.  Helping Vesper make it possible are $500 million worth of production tax credits over 10 years, a federal incentive that reduces the cost of renewable projects.

“Closing project financing and a long-term purchase agreement for the PTCs on a large project in west Texas is complex,” said Vesper Energy’s Chief Financial Officer Robert Scheuermann. “We are proud to invest in Hornet Solar alongside top-tier lenders and investors. This closing is a testament to the value Vesper Energy generated in the asset.”

The Hornet Solar project, covering more than six square miles in Swisher County, TX, will generate 600 MWac, enough to power 160,000 homes annually. This project will be one of the largest single-phase solar projects in the United States.

Vesper secured a $590 million debt financing package for the Hornet Solar project, consisting of a construction-to-term loan and letter of credit facility. The bank group includes MUFG Bank Ltd., Nord/LB and Santander Corporate & Investment Banking as coordinating lead arrangers, BayernLB as joint lead arranger, and Associated Bank as lender.

With a nameplate capacity of 600MWac and 745MWdc, the Hornet Solar project will utilize bifacial photovoltaic modules on a single axis tracking system. Hornet Solar interconnects to Oncor Electric’s transmission system in ERCOT.

Blattner Energy is constructing the Hornet Solar project. The power generated by the project is contracted to four off-take partners through individual Power Purchase Agreements.

As one of the largest standalone solar projects in the US, and Texas of course, the Hornet project is one of the many ways the Inflation Reduction Act has catalysed the sector in the US, leading to optimism that changes will survive even a change in administration, should the Biden Admin suffer a poll setback this year.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International