8minutenergy Renewables and D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments, L.L.C. (DESRI) today announced the completion of permitting and start of construction of the 137MW-dc (105MW-ac) Springbok 1 Solar Farm, located 70 miles north of Los Angeles in Kern County, California.
Springbok 1 Solar Farm has a signed Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA), on behalf of its participating member, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).
Springbok 1 Solar Farm is a utility-scale solar generation facility sited on up to about 700 acres farmland. 8minutenergy began developing the project in 2011. Swinerton Builders is serving as the engineering, procurement, and construction firm, with affiliates of 8minutenergy and DESRI overseeing construction management. DESRI led the equity investment in the project and secured debt and tax equity financing. The project is being financed by a syndicate of lenders, including KeyBank National Association, Santander Bank, N.A., OneWest Bank, N.A., CoBank, ACB, and Siemens Financial Services, Inc. U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation provided a commitment for tax equity financing. The project is expected to reach its commercial operations date in June 2016. It is expected to displace the equivalent of approximately 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, which is equal to the amount that roughly 12 million trees would displace annually.
"We are pleased to begin construction of the Springbok project to provide clean energy to the people of Los Angeles with the permitting and financing complete. This solar farm is another example of 8minutenergy bringing projects from conception to construction," said Martin Hermann, chief executive officer of 8minutenergy Renewables.
"DESRI is excited to close on the financing for the Springbok 1 Solar Farm," said Bryan Martin, managing director and head of U.S. private equity for the D. E. Shaw group. "We value our partnership with 8minutenergy, and this investment further expands DESRI's renewable energy portfolio while helping to power more U.S. homes with green energy."
"We enjoyed working with SCPPA/LADWP and Kern County Planning and Development Department. We are particularly pleased that this project received unanimous votes and the full support of all approving agencies as well as the local community and environmental groups," said Tom Buttgenbach, president of 8minutenergy Renewables. "The Springbok 1 Solar Farm will create an estimated 300 direct and 400 indirect jobs during construction in Kern County."