ENERGY STORAGE

Longroad Energy confirms financial close of Arizona solar-storage project

March 14, 2024

Renewable energy developer Longroad Energy has confirmed the financial close of Serrano, its 220 MWdc solar and 214 MWac / 855 MWh storage project in Pinal and Pima Counties in the US state of Arizona.

Serrano will use solar panels domestically manufactured by First Solar. The project has begun construction, with commercial operation scheduled for mid-2025.

The output of the Serrano project will be purchased by Arizona Public Service (APS) via a long-term power purchase agreement. The project will generate enough electricity to power roughly 61,000 Arizona homes, and will support grid reliability, particularly during Arizona’s hot summer months.

Debt financing was led by CIBC and Societe Generale and included ANZ, PNC, Commerzbank AG, and U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance. CIBC acted as coordinating lead arranger, administrative agent, collateral agent, and green loan coordinator. Societe Generale acted as coordinating lead arranger. U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance served as joint lead arranger and depositary bank. Athene Annuity and Life Insurance Company, an affiliate of Apollo Global Management, is the project’s tax equity investor and was advised by Apterra Infrastructure Capital.

“Longroad is pleased that our Serrano project has achieved the milestones of financial closure and commencement of construction,” said Paul Gaynor, CEO of Longroad Energy. “We are proud to support American manufacturing and the domestic solar supply chain as we expand our solar footprint in the robust Arizona market, which now surpasses 1.5 GW of operating or under construction projects. Longroad is grateful to our banking partners, APS, McCarthy, and state and county authorities as we move forward to bring this important project to commercial operations.”

Georges Antoun, chief commercial officer, First Solar: “We congratulate Longroad on progressing this Arizona project, which will be enabled by American-made solar technology and, as a result, directly support US manufacturing and jobs,” said Georges Antoun, chief commercial officer, First Solar. “That Longroad has successfully closed financing is a testament to the bankability of the project and the solar module technology powering it.”

Peter O’Neill, head of U.S. project finance and infrastructure at CIBC, said: “As a strategically important project for the state of Arizona and for Longroad Energy, CIBC is proud to have led this financing for Serrano as co-coordinating lead arranger, green loan coordinator and administrative agent. Our continued role in supporting Longroad in the build out of their development pipeline is one example of CIBC’s commitment to the U.S. renewable energy and energy transition space as we work towards enabling a more sustainable and inclusive economy.”