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After securing a $225 million letter of credit and revolving credit facility earlier this year, 8minute Solar Energy (8minute) has significantly upsized that facility to a total of $350 million with support from new lenders. The additional $125 million in commitments comes from the existing lenders who are joined by Deutsche Bank, Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (Helaba), and Norddeutsche Landesbank (NORD/LB). The expanded facility will help 8minute accelerate the development of its growing pipeline, which includes more than 18-gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity and 24-gigawatt-hours (GWh) of storage throughout California, Texas, and the Southwestern United States.
“Over the last year, 8minute has been very successful in growing and contracting our best-in-class portfolio through ‘smart’ solar-plus-storage power plants that are the lowest-cost, most reliable way to decarbonize our electrical grid,” said Dr. Tom Buttgenbach, Founder and CEO of 8minute. “This additional financing is not only a strong testament to the demand for 8minute’s technological leadership, but also a sign that lenders are moving away from risky and volatile fossil fuel infrastructure, toward the predictability of clean energy.”
In May, 8minute closed the initial facility from a consortium of banks, led by CIT as sole coordinating lead arranger, with joint lead arrangers KeyBanc Capital Markets, HSBC, Rabobank and Nomura. 8minute is using the facility to cost effectively post securities for its power purchase agreements (PPAs) and interconnection agreements.
8minute has one of the largest development pipelines of solar and solar-plus-storage projects in the country, including more than 50 utility-scale projects in various stages of development, with a typical project size of 400 MW. Most of these projects will deploy 8minute’s new generation of highly efficient solar power plants with energy storage that are custom designed for each customer.
This year alone, 8minute signed about one-gigawatt of solar and 800-megawatt-hours (MWh) of storage with new customers, including its first project in New Mexico and the largest solar and storage center among California’s Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs).
Latham & Watkins LLP represented 8minute and Norton Rose Fulbright LLP represented the lenders.