SunEdison (NYSE: SUNE), a leading solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar energy services announced today that it has completed construction of a 24 MW (megawatt) DC (direct current) solar power plant located in the California Desert. The Cascade solar power plant is supplying renewable electricity to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) through a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) provided tax equity financing following completion of the solar power plant. Since 2007, Wells Fargo has provided tax equity and construction financing for more than 200 utility and distributed generation solar projects developed by SunEdison.
The project's PPA was awarded under the California Renewable Auction Mechanism (RAM). The RAM process is designed to ensure ratepayers get energy at a low cost by using a reverse auction and standard contracts, which simplifies contracting and streamlines regulatory reviews. To date this is the largest solar project to come on-line under the RAM program and the first RAM project constructed for SDG&E.
"It's an honor to bring the largest solar power plant interconnected through the California RAM program online," said Bob Powell, president, North America, SunEdison. "It supports our focus on growth and the growth of the solar industry in California. We are fortunate to work with Wells Fargo, a committed finance partner, which shares our vision for increasing the availability of renewable energy. Their support is vital to completing projects like this one."
Wells Fargo has invested more than $1.3 billion of tax equity in more than 300 solar projects since 2007. To date, Wells Fargo has provided over $3 billion in tax equity debt financing for renewable energy projects in 28 states.
"As one of the leading capital providers to the renewable energy and cleantech industries, Wells Fargo was excited to provide tax equity for the Cascade plant," said Barry Neal, head of Wells Fargo's Environmental Finance Group. "We continue to build upon our longstanding relationship with SunEdison and expand our commitment to the U.S. solar market."
The 150-acre solar power plant is comprised of more than 75,000 SunEdison Silvantis™ Monocrystalline Solar PV Modules mounted to SunEdison AP90 Single Axis Trackers. Silvantis Modules are built using SunEdison polysilicon and wafers to ensure maximum reliability and performance. SunEdison AP90 single axis trackers help maximize energy harvest. The plant will be managed by the SunEdison Renewable Operation Center (ROC), which provides global 24/7 asset management, monitoring, field dispatch and reporting services.
"Through the RAM Program we were able to work with SunEdison and deliver renewable energy to our ratepayers at an economical price," said Dan Baerman, director of origination for SDG&E. "Partnering with Wells Fargo and SunEdison made bringing our first RAM project online a seamless process."