Construction on 215 MW Fresno County Solar Project Now Underway


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By Emily Holbrook | April 7, 2020

Today marks the financial close and start of construction of Little Bear Solar, comprising four separate solar projects totaling 215 MW in Fresno County, CA.

Little Bear will sell energy and RECs to Marin Clean Energy (MCE) under 20-year busbar power purchase agreements (PPAs). The projects are expected to be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of 2020. In addition to creating approximately 500 jobs during the construction of the facility, the project will contribute over $2 million in sales and property taxes.

Longroad Energy acquired the development project from First Solar last year and has since completed all the elements for the deployment. The major components are as follows:

  • EPC contract with Swinerton Renewable Energy
  • Panel supply with First Solar, using Series 6 technology
  • Inverter supply with Power Electronics
  • Tracker supply with NEXTracker

KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. and Santander Corporate & Investment Banking closed $333 million of the credit facilities for the project and acted as Coordinating Lead Arrangers. US Bank is the sole tax equity investor.

The main goal of the project is to grow solar capacity and support economic development in the Central Valley.

Last year, Longroad Energy and Crown Holdings signed a virtual PPA that allows Crown Holdings to use wind power in all of its US and Canadian beverage can plants starting July 1, 2020. The renewable power will offset 100% of the energy usage within Crown’s US and Canadian beverage plants, which account for more than 20% of the company’s global Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions. This transition serves as the first phase of Crown’s RE100 plan, which anticipates that the company will run 100% renewable electricity by 2050.

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