BayWa r.e. secures tax equity and construction financing for major US solar development

Investments in renewables are continuing their strong growth in the US and this financing highlights the ongoing confidence in renewables in the US market and, in particular, the Fern Solar project.

Global renewable energy developer, service provider and distributor BayWa r.e. has secured tax equity and construction financing for its Fern Solar project in Edgecombe County, North Carolina. RBC Capital Markets syndicated a tax equity investment commitment in the project and the lender group comprised of Rabobank, Coordinating Lead Arranger, and Banco Sabadell, Joint Lead Arranger, have committed to providing construction and term financing.

Investments in renewables are continuing their strong growth in the US and this financing highlights the ongoing confidence in renewables in the US market and, in particular, the Fern Solar project.

"Our success in securing tax equity and project financing for this landmark project demonstrates our ability to continue to attract investors to the fundamental value proposition of renewable energy," said Jam Attari, CEO, BayWa r.e. Solar Projects LLC. "It is great to see the next stage of this pioneering project unlocked. Once generating power, it will be providing green energy for six major US companies through a market-first multi-party VPPA."

The VPPA, facilitated by LevelTen Energy, brought together Bloomberg, Cox Enterprises, Gap Inc, Salesforce and Workday, creating the Corporate Renewable Energy Aggregation Group and contracted a total of 42.5MW from Fern's output. This was supplemented later in 2019 with the announcement that Starbucks had entered into a vPPA with BayWa r.e. for 46 MW.

Construction of the 133.6 MW solar farm is already underway and is due for completion in the summer of 2020, with full commissioning anticipated in H2 2020.

Yonette Chung McLean, Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets, said: "Project Fern expands RBC's tax equity syndication expertise, building on prior direct investing, syndication and structuring experience. We are proud to partner with BayWa r.e. on this exciting solar project."

Greg Hutton, Head of Project Finance Americas, Rabobank, said: "We are very excited to partner with BayWa on their first construction and term financing for a large-scale solar project in the United States. This is a landmark transaction in many ways and fits perfectly with Rabobank's commitment to supporting the energy transition in North America."

Fern Solar is the first of BayWa r.e.'s projects at scale in the US that will be retained and managed long-term, representing a shift in the company's model in the region.

Luis Eduardo Morales, VP of Structured Finance, Banco Sabadell, said: "Sabadell is committed to supporting the development of renewables in the USA and worldwide and is pleased to have been a part of Fern. Working with all these great institutions and people involved in the project has been a great experience."

Once completed, the Fern asset will comprise 353,276 solar panels and 42 inverters and will produce enough electricity to power nearly 20,000 homes.

About Rabobank

Rabobank Group is a global financial services leader providing wholesale and retail banking, leasing, and real estate services in more than 38 countries worldwide. Founded over a century ago, Rabobank today is one of the world's largest banks with over $660 billion in assets. In the Americas, Rabobank Wholesale Banking is a premier corporate and investment bank to the food, agribusiness, commodities and renewable energy industries, providing sector expertise, strategic advisory and tailored financial solutions to clients across the entire food value chain. Additional information is available on our website or on our social media platforms, including Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Banco Sabadell

Banco Sabadell Group is a Spanish bank established in 1881. It is the fourth largest Spanish banking group in Spain. Banco Sabadell has operated in the United States since 1993 in Miami, where it currently has an international full branch.

Banco Sabadell is characterized by a young, highly-qualified team, with the most modern, up-to-date technological and commercial resources and a multi-brand, multi-channel organisation focusing on the client enable Banco Sabadell to occupy an outstanding position in the personal and business banking markets.

About BayWa r.e. renewable energy GmbH (BayWa r.e.):

Across solar and wind, at BayWa r.e we r.e. think energy - how it is produced, stored and best used. We are a leading global developer, service supplier, distributor and energy solutions provider.

We deliver renewable energy solutions worldwide, and have brought 3 GW of energy online, while managing 8.3 GW of assets.

BayWa r.e is a leading supplier to the solar distribution market. We also have a rapidly growing energy trading business.

We are part of the BayWa Group, a business with revenues of EUR17.1 billion. Every day we are working hard to find new solutions, push technological boundaries and actively shape the future of energy and taking a stand against climate change.

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