15 Nov 2022
Longroad Energy, a US-based renewable energy developer, owner and operator, announced the successful financing and commencement of construction of the Three Corners Solar project in Kennebec County, Maine. The ~$200 million project has been in development for five years, and upon completion in late 2023 or early 2024, will be the largest solar project in Maine.
“We are glad to reach this important milestone and grateful for the support of the towns of Benton and Clinton, Kennebec County, and the residents of the area,” said Scarborough, Maine-based Matt Kearns, Chief Development Officer of Longroad Energy. “$200 million projects do not come along every day in Maine – the Mills administration has fostered an attractive environment for investment in renewable energy. This project will be an important resource for Maine to help meet its clean energy objectives and will deliver significant economic benefits to Kennebec County and the region.”
Total output from the project will be purchased by EDF Energy Services via a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). EDF Energy Services will use renewable energy generated by the project as supply for its corporate customer load in New England. This PPA sets the record as the largest corporate PPA in the New England power grid signed to date. Three Corners Solar will also contribute to the reliability of the Maine and the New England power grid by providing capacity to the ISO-NE system.
“This transaction demonstrates EDF Energy Services’ continued commitment to helping corporate customers meet their renewable power supply needs and sustainability initiatives,” said Deb Merril, EDF Energy Services President of Retail. “We are committed and proud to share our expertise and knowledge of the markets to help our customers navigate this environment and select an attractive renewables product that allows them to accomplish their goal.”
KeyBank N.A. and U.S. Bank served as lenders and U.S. Bank was the sole tax equity investor for the project. KeyBanc Capital Markets served as Coordinating Lead Arranger.
“We are delighted to provide capital to help Maine meet its clean energy objectives by working with an experienced renewable energy developer like Longroad Energy,” said Tyler Nielsen, Director in KeyBanc’s Utilities, Power and Renewable Energy Group. “This represents our 39th transaction with the Longroad Energy team, and we are proud of our strong, long-term relationship.”
“U.S. Bank has worked with Longroad Energy on four prior tax equity investments, and we’re excited to expand our support as lender as well on this project,” said Colin Witherspoon, Business Development Officer with U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation’s (UBCDC) Environmental Finance team. USBCDC is the tax credit and community investment division of U.S. Bank. “Longroad is a great partner with some of the best projects in the country, and a perfect fit to close the first deal on our new environmental finance debt platform. Working together in new and expanded ways, we can help create a more sustainable future and address climate change.”
Three Corners Solar is expected to achieve avoided emissions of approximately 140,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, the equivalent of taking ~30,000 cars off the road for as long as the project operates.
In addition to generating ~$8 million in property taxes for host communities and the State of Maine, Three Corners Solar has committed to several community contributions, including:
- $100,000 ($5,000 per year) to local scholarship programs and charitable organizations during the 20-year operating term of the project.
- $100,000 to Unity College to fund internships and research opportunities for faculty and students in renewable energy.
- $25,000 to Sebasticook Regional Land Trust to support conservation efforts.
- The project has conserved ~1,875 acres of predominately forested lands, protecting high value wetlands, deer wintering areas, inland waterfowl wading bird habitat, and critical terrestrial habitat.
The project will use Series 6/6+ modules supplied by U.S.-based First Solar, as well as Nextracker’s single axis tracker technology, and inverters from Power Electronics. The project will be interconnected to the Central Maine Power system.
Longroad’s affiliate, Longroad Energy Services, is the asset manager and operator, and will be providing remote monitoring services to the project over the long term from its Scarborough, ME-based Remote Operations Center (ROC).
Longroad Energy | www.longroadenergy.com