LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)– 8minute Solar Energy (8minute) today announced the 67-megawatt (MWdc) Lotus Solar Farm in Madera County, California is now fully operating. The Lotus Solar Farm produces energy for well over 12,000 Southern California homes, delivered through a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Southern California Edison, and will reduce carbon emissions by more than 48,000 metric tons each year.
“California is a global leader in solar energy – but as past weeks have shown, also at the epicenter of climate change impacts,” said Dr. Tom Buttgenbach, Founder and CEO of 8minute. “Smoke-reddened skies prove we have no time to waste, and as the largest solar developer in the state, we know we must lead the way to clearer days. The Lotus Solar Farm is yet another 8minute project that demonstrates how solar is a win-win solution: fighting climate change and air pollution while creating value for investors and landowners alike. We look forward to continuing to power a robust solar industry in California and beyond, working with investment partners like Allianz Global Investors and others across the international investor community to help accelerate the global clean energy transition.”
The 375-acre project was strategically sited on low-productivity former grazing land and created 300 peak union jobs in Madera County during construction. Dedicated to greenfield development, 8minute acquired the land and conducted permitting for the Lotus Solar Farm, obtained the interconnection agreement, secured the PPA and managed construction through to commercial operations.
Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI), one of the world’s leading active asset managers, acquired the project from 8minute late last year, marking the AllianzGI Infrastructure Equity team’s first U.S. solar project purchase.
“We feel incredibly proud that our first investment in the U.S. renewable energy landscape was completed in California. The Lotus Solar Farm not only represents a smart financial investment, but also underscores the environmental and social opportunities that are available in the country’s clean energy transition,” said Armin Sandhoevel, Chief Investment Officer, Infrastructure Equity at Allianz Global Investors. “As demand rightly trends towards renewables amid a changing weather climate, we look forward to ongoing strategic collaboration with 8minute – a firm committed to shepherding a clean energy future into reality with each well-executed project.”
8minute and AllianzGI worked together to secure tax equity investment from independent power producer and developer Tenaska.
“We applaud the strong partnership between 8minute and AllianzGI as they have successfully brought this project to commercial operation. Tenaska is excited to utilize our broad industry experience and financial flexibility as a tax equity investor,” said Dave Kirkwood, Senior Vice President of Finance at Tenaska. “Projects like the Lotus Solar Farm are proof of how the solar industry continues to innovate to deliver profitable solar projects to power communities of all sizes.”
8minute and AllianzGI secured additional financing in a $140 million construction debt package, letter of credit and term loan facility from CIT and NORD/LB, with participation from Siemens and Commerzbank.
Signal Energy provided the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) services for Lotus, while key suppliers included NEXTracker with its NX Horizon™ smart solar tracker and TMEIC with 14 of their Ninja 4200 central inverters.
ABOUT 8MINUTE SOLAR ENERGY
As a nationwide leader in solar-plus-storage, 8minute Solar Energy (8minute) is championing the clean energy transition in the United States and shaping the future of energy. Since its founding in 2009, 8minute has successfully put 2 GW of solar projects into operation and currently has over 18 GW of solar and storage projects under development. By focusing on technology and engineering innovation, 8minute’s best-in-class team has continued to set new industry records, developing the largest solar plant in the nation starting in 2012, delivering the first operational solar plant in the U.S. to beat fossil fuel prices in 2016, and setting the record for the lowest cost solar and solar-plus-storage projects in 2019. As the largest solar developer in the country with an established track record of delivering above-market profitability, 8minute is pioneering a new generation of large-scale, fully dispatchable solar power. For more information, please visit www.8minute.com, and follow 8minute on Twitter and LinkedIn.
ABOUT ALLIANZ GLOBAL INVESTORS
Allianz Global Investors is a leading active asset manager with 760 investment professionals in 25 offices worldwide and managing $604 billion in assets for individuals, families and institutions.
Active is the most important word in our vocabulary. Active is how we create and share value with clients. We believe in solving, not selling, and in adding value beyond pure economic gain. We invest for the long term, employing our innovative investment expertise and global resources. Our goal is to ensure a superior experience for our clients, wherever they are based and whatever their investment needs.