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NextEra completes $935m financing for 250MW California solar plant

30 Aug 2011

US company Genesis Solar, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, has completed financing worth $935m for the construction of a 250MW concentrated solar thermal development to be based in Riverside County, California.

The investment was comprised of $702m from the sale of project bonds, a $150m loan facility and an $83m letter of credit. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has provided a loan guarantee for 80 per cent of the principal and interest on the project bonds and loan under its Financial Institution Partnership Programme.

Credit Suisse was the lender applicant for the loan guarantee, the initial purchaser of the project bonds and the lender of the loan facility. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria provided the letter of credit.

Armando Pimentel, executive vice president and chief financial officer of NextEra, said, ‘This financing marks a significant milestone in the development of the Genesis project. We are very pleased with both the strong investor reception for this financing, which we view as a validation of our solar development efforts, and the receipt of a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy Loan Programs Office.’

The use of concentrated solar thermal is waning as the cost of photovoltaic (PV) systems has declined significantly this year. Solar Millennium recently announced that it would be using PV instead of solar thermal on the first half of the 1GW Blythe project in California and said it could potentially use PV on the rest of the site, depending on market conditions.

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