Longroad’s largest project signs offtake agreement with Arizona Public Service, and begins construction
Boston, MA – Nov. 1, 2023 – Longroad Energy, a U.S. based renewable energy developer, owner and operator, announced today the financial close and start of construction of Sun Streams 4, its 377 MWdc PV and 300 MWac / 1200 MWh storage project. Sun Streams 4 is Longroad’s largest solar and storage project to date, and is the company’s third project in its Sun Streams complex based in Maricopa County, AZ. Commercial operations for Sun Streams 4 is currently expected by mid-2025.
Sun Stream 4’s total output, enough to power 120,000 homes, will be purchased by Arizona Public Service (APS) via a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The project will help support system reliability in Arizona, particularly during the peak demand summer months.
“Longroad continues to make significant strides with our flagship Sun Streams portfolio in the important Arizona market,” said Paul Gaynor, CEO of Longroad Energy. “A landmark project for us, Sun Streams 4 has the distinction of being Longroad’s largest project to date by both megawatts and investment capital, and one of our first projects to incorporate provisions from the historic Inflation Reduction Act. The project’s other notable attributes include our second PPA negotiated with APS, one of U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance’s largest ever tax equity investments, and our third project being built by McCarthy in the Sun Streams cluster of projects. Longroad is grateful to APS, our lenders led by CIBC, U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance, and to the state and county authorities for their ongoing support.”
“Arizona is experiencing rapid growth and development, and with the demands of our hot summer months, APS customers will continue to count on reliable power as we invest in additional energy resources,” said Justin Joiner, APS Vice President of Resource Management. “This project will add more solar power to our diverse and balanced energy portfolio and provide long-term value to our customers.”
The project is part of the Sun Streams portfolio that Longroad acquired from First Solar in early 2021. In addition to Sun Streams 4, the portfolio includes:
- Sun Streams 2 – 200 MWdc solar project which has been operational since mid-2021
- Sun Streams 3 – 285 MWdc PV and 215 MWac / 860 MWh storage project currently under construction with commercial operations expected in 2024
In a continuation of their longstanding partnership, First Solar will supply Longroad with its Series 6 Plus solar modules for Sun Streams 4.
“We congratulate Longroad on achieving this important milestone and, as an Arizona-headquartered company, look forward to having our advanced American thin film solar technology deliver electricity to the state,” said Georges Antoun, Chief Commercial Officer, First Solar.
Debt financing was led by CIBC and included ANZ, PNC, BNP Paribas, Commerzbank AG, CoBank, U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance, National Australia Bank, and Société Générale. CIBC acted as Coordinating Lead Arranger, Administrative Agent, and Collateral Agent, and ANZ served as Joint Lead Arranger and Green Loan Coordinator. U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance served as Joint Lead Arranger and Depositary Bank.
“We are proud to be part of this financing which is an excellent demonstration of our environmental commitments,” said U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance Chief Investment and Product Officer Sunil Rajpurohit. “It leverages our environmental finance platform by providing a comprehensive suite of products including both tax equity and debt to accelerate the broader efforts supporting the transition to a greener economy.”
U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance Director of Renewable Energy Investments Darren Van’t Hof added, “Our financing of Sun Streams 4 represents one of our most impactful projects to date providing clean, renewable energy and jobs for years to come. Longroad has consistently shared our commitment to the environment, and we couldn’t be more pleased with this project and all the people who made it happen.”
“Sun Streams 4 is another strategically important project for the state of Arizona and for Longroad Energy. We are proud to have led this landmark financing, the largest for Longroad to date, as the sole Coordinating Lead Arranger and Admin Agent for the project,” said James Wright, Head of U.S. Project Finance and Infrastructure at CIBC. “Our leadership role on Sun Streams 4 is another example of CIBC’s commitment to being a leader in the U.S. Renewable Energy and broader Energy Transition space.”
During the construction period Sun Streams 4 is expected to employ over 200 people. McCarthy Building Companies (McCarthy), whose Renewable Energy team is based in Phoenix, Arizona, was selected as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor on the project. McCarthy built the award-winning Sun Streams 2 project and is completing construction of Sun Streams 3. The project will pay prevailing wage and utilize registered apprentices in accordance with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
“The positive impact that Longroad is having on Arizona’s transition to sustainable renewable energy by developing another large-scale solar project with battery storage is incredible,” said Scott Canada, Executive Vice President of McCarthy’s Renewable Energy team. “We’re proud to be partnering with Longroad and its customers to further our shared mission of making clean energy options available to communities around Arizona and across the U.S. while also creating career opportunities in the ever-growing solar industry through our training and apprenticeship programs.”
Sun Stream 4’s 300 MWac / 1200 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.
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
Sun Streams 4 represents over 625,000 metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions annually – the equivalent of taking approximately 140,000 gas-powered cars off the road for as long as the project operates. The Sun Streams 4 design includes numerous wildlife corridors which are designed to protect native species habitat and allow wildlife passage through the project area.
Over the project’s useful life, Sun Streams 4 will contribute more than $100 million in revenue for Arizona schools and communities through its long-term leases with the Arizona State Land Department and tax remittances. Longroad extends its thanks to staff and officials from the Arizona State Land Department and Maricopa County for their continued collaboration during development and construction of the Sun Streams projects.
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 4.9 GW of renewable energy projects across the United States and has raised over $12.8 billion of equity, debt, and tax equity to support completion of its portfolio. Today, Longroad owns over 3.1 GW of wind, solar, and storage projects and operates and manages a total of 5.0 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.