Longroad Energy Closes Financing of Serrano, a 220 MWdc Solar and 214 MWac / 855 MWh Storage Project

Longroad’s first project to use First Solar’s American-made Series 7 panels begins construction

Boston, MA – Mar. 12, 2024 – Longroad Energy, a U.S. based renewable energy developer, owner and operator, announced today the financial close of Serrano, its 220 MWdc solar and 214 MWac / 855 MWh storage project in Pinal and Pima Counties, Arizona. Serrano is Longroad’s first project to utilize First Solar’s domestically manufactured Series 7 panels. The project has commenced construction and commercial operations for Serrano is currently expected by mid-2025.

The output of the Serrano project will be purchased by Arizona Public Service (APS) via a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). 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.

“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.”

“APS is widely regarded for providing top-quality, reliable service to our customers, and solar plus storage resources like the Serrano project bring value to Arizonans,” said Brian Cole, APS Vice President of Resource Management. “Our investment in cost-effective, renewable projects enhances our diverse energy mix, providing customers with power that is reliable, affordable and clean.”

Serrano represents the continuation of a longstanding partnership between U.S.-based solar manufacturer First Solar and Longroad. Serrano is the fourth Arizona project using First Solar’s responsibly produced modules that Longroad has financed in four years, and Longroad’s first to use thin-film Series 7 modules.

“We congratulate Longroad on progressing this Arizona project, which will be enabled by American-made solar technology and, as a result, directly support U.S. 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.”

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.

“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,” said Peter O’Neill, Head of U.S. Project Finance and Infrastructure at CIBC. “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.”

“Supporting projects like Serrano that positively contribute to clean energy goals, surrounding communities and the environment is the cornerstone of SG’s renewables practice,” said Ahmed Maqsood, Director at Societe Generale’s Energy+ Group. “We are thrilled to have supported a premier sponsor like Longroad Energy in growing their portfolio and footprint in the U.S.”

McCarthy Building Companies (McCarthy) is the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor on Serrano. The Serrano project is the fourth large-scale solar facility in Arizona being built by McCarthy for Longroad and is expected to employ over 300 people during the construction process. McCarthy is utilizing registered apprentices and will be paying prevailing wage to all workers on the project, in accordance with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

“It’s incredibly rewarding to be working with Longroad Energy to expand its renewable energy portfolio in Arizona and elsewhere around the U.S.,” said Dan Brown, senior vice president of operations with McCarthy’s Renewable Energy team. “Working with a partner who shares our team’s goals for establishing reliable and sustainable energy infrastructure accessible to all has been instrumental in finding innovative solutions to project challenges and streamlining the planning and development process. We’re thrilled to be with Longroad on another impactful solar project in Arizona.”

Serrano’s 214 MWac / 855 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) will be provided by U.S.-based energy storage platform provider Powin. The BESS will include SMA inverters and cells from AESC, which will be integrated into Powin’s Modular and Scalable CentipedeTM Energy Storage Platform. Longroad, in conjunction with Powin and NovaSource Power Services, will provide long-term operations and maintenance services for the BESS.

Nextracker is supplying trackers for the project and Sungrow is supplying the solar inverters. Comprehensive operations and maintenance services for the project will be provided by NovaSource Power Services and Longroad’s affiliate Longroad Energy Services.

Environment and Community

Serrano represents over 330,000 metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions annually – the equivalent of taking approximately 75,000 gas-powered cars off the road for as long as the project operates.

Over the project’s useful life, Serrano will contribute more than $25 million in revenue for Arizona schools and communities through its long-term Right of Way grant with the Arizona State Land Department and tax remittances. Longroad extends its thanks to staff and officials from Pinal County, Pima County, and the Arizona State Land Department for their continued collaboration during development and construction of the project.

About Longroad Energy Holdings, LLC

Founded in 2016, Longroad Energy Holdings LLC is focused on renewable energy project development, operating assets, and services. Longroad has developed or acquired 5.4 GW of renewable energy projects across the United States and has raised over $14.5 billion of equity, debt, and tax equity to support completion of its portfolio. Today, Longroad owns over 3.5 GW of wind, solar, and storage projects and operates and manages a total of 5.5 GW on behalf of Longroad and third parties. Longroad is owned by the NZ Superannuation Fund, Infratil Limited, MEAG MUNICH ERGO Asset Management, and Longroad Energy Partners, LLC.

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Heather Robb