16 October 2019
Cubico Sustainable Investments (Cubico), a leader and global investor in renewable energy, backed by two of Canada’s largest pension funds, has achieved financial close for the 162 MW Wagyu solar PV project in Brazoria County, Texas, USA.
This is the fourth project to reach financial close in the 580 MW five project solar PV portfolio Cubico acquired from Cypress Creek Renewables (Cypress Creek) in January 2019. The three projects that closed prior to Wagyu are Palmetto Plains and Huntley in South Carolina and Crooked Run in North Carolina.
Construction of the Wagyu project is underway under an EPC contract with RES (Renewable Energy Systems) and the project is expected to become fully operational in the third quarter of 2020. Cypress Creek is the O&M provider.
The project has a unique combination of a 15-year corporate PPA from Starbucks and a 12-year physical hedge from BP.
Project finance debt was provided by HSBC, Nord LB and Rabobank and tax equity was provided by US Bank, the same financing parties that participated in the Palmetto Plains and Huntley projects.
Cubico was advised by Winston & Strawn (legal), CCA (financial), Enertis (technical) and WSP (owner’s engineer).
Ricardo Díaz, Head of Americas at Cubico, said: “We are pleased to have closed our fourth project in the United States in record timing and want to thank our partners and counterparties for working alongside us. We will continue to focus our origination efforts on expanding the US portfolio and look forward to continued growth as we work towards a clean energy future.”
Oliver Alexander, Head of USA at Cubico, added: “Wagyu is a great addition to Cubico’s USA business, representing a number of firsts for the company including its first corporate PPA and first physical hedge, whilst also establishing long term relationships with offtake counterparties Starbucks and BP. We are very pleased to be working with RES on new construction projects again and look forward to continuing to work with Cypress Creek on new project investments into 2020 and beyond.”
Sarah Slusser, CEO of Cypress Creek, said: “Wagyu is Cypress Creek’s largest project yet to reach financial close and start construction. This was an especially complex and exciting closing, and we are pleased to work with Starbucks again and now BP. The entire Cypress Creek team is thrilled to work alongside Cubico in creating valuable projects that benefit communities, bringing jobs, clean energy and a tax base for the future.”
Douglas McAlpine, Chairman of RES in the Americas, said: “RES is excited to be working on our first North American project with Cubico, building on our global relationship to support the delivery of a zero-carbon future.”
Ken Fleming, Senior Vice President of Origination and Marketing at BP, said: “With solar energy projected to grow rapidly in the coming decades, BP sees significant opportunity to offer affordable, reliable, low-carbon power solutions to the world. This project further demonstrates BP’s commitment to meeting society’s demand for cleaner, better energy.”