Longroad Energy, a U.S. based renewable energy developer, owner and operator, announced today the financial close and commencement of construction of Sun Streams 3, its 285 MWdc PV and 215 MWac / 860 MWh storage project located in Maricopa County, Arizona. Sun Streams 3 is expected to begin commercial operations in 2024 and will be the largest solar and storage project in Longroad’s operational portfolio.
“We are pleased to have achieved the key milestones of financial close and commencement of construction on Sun Streams 3, the latest phase of our flagship solar plus storage complex located at one of the most significant power hubs in the western U.S.,” said Paul Gaynor, CEO of Longroad Energy. “Arizona is an important growth market, and Longroad currently has a 4 GW operating and development portfolio in the state. Longroad believes the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act will enable further development in the state and provide significant benefits for utilities and ratepayers. We are grateful to APS, our lenders led by CIBC and KeyBank, and U.S. Bank as our tax equity investor, as we move forward to bring this significant project to commercial operation.”
The project interconnects with the grid at the Hassayampa switchyard, a major transmission hub in the western U.S. Sun Streams 3 will enhance electrical capacity and system reliability in Arizona; the project’s total output, enough to power 90,000 homes, will be purchased by Arizona Public Service (APS) via a long-term Power Purchase Agreement.
“Arizona is one of the fastest growing states in the country, and it’s our responsibility to keep the lights on year-round for the communities we serve — from homes to hospitals to manufacturing centers,” said Justin Joiner, APS Vice President of Resource Management. “The energy generated by this project will assist APS as we transition to a 100% clean and carbon-free resource mix by 2050 and is one way we are maintaining an affordable, resilient and balanced energy supply for all our customers.”
Longroad acquired Sun Streams 3 from First Solar in early 2021 as part of a larger transaction that included multiple projects in Arizona, including the 200 MWdc Sun Streams 2 solar project which has been operational since 2021 and additional projects which are still in development. Continuing their strong partnership, First Solar is supplying Series 6+ solar modules for the Sun Streams 3 project.
Debt financing was led by CIBC and KeyBank, and included ANZ, Commerzbank, PNC and Silicon Valley Bank. KeyBanc Capital Markets and CIBC served as Coordinating Lead Arrangers. U.S. Bank is the project’s tax equity investor.
“We are proud to partner with Longroad Energy on Sun Streams 3, a strategically important project for the state of Arizona,” said James Wright, Head of U.S. Project Finance and Infrastructure at CIBC. “This is another example of CIBC’s commitment to helping our clients achieve their sustainability ambitions, and we are thrilled to lead this significant financing.”
“Longroad Energy has an exceptional reputation as a leading developer of solar and storage projects. We are confident Sun Streams 3 will add to their successful track record,” said Tyler Nielsen, director for KeyBanc Capital Markets’ Utilities, Power and Renewable Energy Group. “We appreciate our collaboration with Longroad Energy on this financing and look forward to continued opportunities to support their growth.”
“We believe everyone has a role to play in creating a sustainable future and helping reduce the impacts of climate change,” said Eric Barr, business development officer with U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation’s Environmental Finance team. “Investments like this are one way we can do our part and we’re proud to partner again with Longroad to expand access to clean energy.”
During construction, Sun Streams 3 is projected to employ over 300 people. McCarthy Building Companies (McCarthy), whose Renewable Energy & Storage team is based in Phoenix, Arizona, was selected as the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor on the project. McCarthy also built Longroad’s adjacent 200 MWdc Sun Streams 2 solar project, which recently received the 2022 Best Energy Project in the Southwest Award from Engineering News Record.
“Longroad is a leader in the renewable energy transition and we’re proud to be partnering with them again for the Sun Streams 3 solar project,” said Scott Canada, Executive Vice President of McCarthy’s Renewable Energy & Storage team. “It’s very rewarding for our team to be part of building a more sustainable energy infrastructure in Arizona, in partnership with Longroad, and to also be providing members of the local community with career opportunities in the expanding solar industry.”
The 215 MW/ 860 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) will be delivered by Powin, a U.S.-based energy storage platform provider with over 17 GWh of projects deployed, under construction, or in contracting. The BESS will include SMA inverters and cells from Envision AESC, which will be integrated into Powin’s modular and scalable Stack™ 750E energy segment. Longroad, in conjunction with Powin and NovaSource, will provide long-term operations and maintenance services.
Nextracker is supplying trackers for the project and SunGrow is supplying the solar inverters. Comprehensive operations and maintenance services for the project will be provided by NovaSource and Longroad’s affiliate Longroad Energy Services.
The project represents 460,000 metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions annually – the equivalent of taking ~100,000 cars off the road for as long as the project operates.
Sun Streams 3 will generate more than $65 million in revenue for Arizona schools via long-term leases with the Arizona State Land Department. Longroad extends thanks to the Arizona State Land Department and Maricopa County for their continued support and collaboration through the development and construction of the Sun Streams projects.
Founded in 2016, Longroad Energy Holdings, LLC is focused on renewable energy project development, operating assets, and services. Longroad has developed or acquired 4.3 GW of renewable energy projects across the United States and has raised $10 billion of equity, debt, and tax equity to support completion of its portfolio. Today, Longroad owns over 2.4 GW of wind, solar, and storage projects and operates and manages a total of 4.0 GW on behalf of Longroad and third parties. Longroad is owned by the NZ Superannuation Fund, Infratil Limited, MEAG MUNICH ERGO Asset Management, and Longroad Energy Partners, LLC.