Wells Fargo Provides Company’s Largest-Ever Solar Energy Financing
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) said it has made the largest equity investment in solar energy in the company’s history - in Nevada Solar One, a 64-megawatt Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant southeast of Las Vegas. The $266 million project developed by Acciona Energy is the largest solar energy facility built in the world in 16 years.
The project is expected to help stabilize electricity costs for residents and businesses in Nevada, where electricity prices have risen more than 50 percent since 2000. Nevada Solar One will provide clean renewable power during peak demand, when electricity prices and demand are highest. The electricity generated will be purchased by Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company through long-term power purchase agreements at fixed electricity prices.
“Vast opportunity exists to help our customers and our nation take advantage of clean, renewable energy,” said Barry Neal, Wells Fargo’s director of Environmental Finance. “Our goal is to seize the right opportunities by drawing from our breadth of financing capabilities to deliver solutions that benefit our customers, our communities, our shareholders and our environment.”
Nevada Solar One’s solar field covers 400 acres and features more than 182,000 parabolic trough-shaped mirror panels that track the sun throughout the day and concentrate solar radiation onto receiver tubes. This heats a special fluid in the receiver tubes to create steam that drives a conventional steam turbine generator to produce electricity. The CSP project is provides a utility-scale solution with no greenhouse gas emissions.
The transaction is the first leveraged lease structured financing for a CSP plant in the U.S. Wells Fargo participated as one of three equity investors including an affiliate of Northern Trust and JPMorgan Capital Corporation who underwrote the equity and led the equity investors. Debt participants include Banco Santander and BBVA of Spain, and CAIXA of Portugal.
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