$225 million in new funding is coming to 8minute Solar Energy, as the company has closed on a round of funding from a consortium of five banks. The round of financing was headed by CIT as sole coordinating lead arranger, with partners KeyBank, HSBC, Rabobank and Nomura Holdings.
According to the company, the funds will be used to post securities for various power purchase agreements and interconnection agreements. These costs add up very quickly, as 8minutes is touting an 18 GW pipeline of solar and storage projects throughout California, Texas and the Southwestern United States. This pipeline is comprised of around 50 projects, with the average size of these projects being in the ballpark of 400 MW.
While that average project capacity figure is high, 8minute is by no means a stranger to large utility-scale projects. In October, the company completed the 121 MW Springbok 3 solar project, the third plant in a 448 MW cluster of projects in Kern County, California. Also in 2019, the company received approval for the 400 MW/1,200 MWh Eland Solar & Storage Center, the lowest-cost solar and energy storage project in the country.
This is also the second major funding commitment that 8minute has been able to secure in as many months. In April, the company was able to add 3 GW of large-scale solar projects to its development pipeline, thanks to the successful raising of development capital from a group of joint venture partners. This group of partners includes familiar faces to 8minute like J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners, while the University of California Office of the Chief Investment Officer of the Regents joined into the clean energy partnership as a significant investor.
As for this specific deal, the $225 million letter of credit facility replaces 8minute’s existing facility with Rabobank that closed in 2016 — and represents a tenfold increase in capacity.