DESRI Acquires Solar Project

Mon July 13, 2020 - West Edition #15
Business Journal



In continuation of its fifth transaction with Community Energy, D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) has acquired the Hunter solar project of 100 MW capacity in Utah from a Pennsylvania-headquartered renewable energy project developer.

Further, this Hunter solar project has a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with PacifiCorp and it will provide data center operations of Facebook with the renewable energy certificates from this new solar power.

Commenting on the acquisition, Bryan Martin, executive chairman of DESRI, said that "DESRI is very pleased to close its fifth transaction with Community Energy. We are very excited to be able to work with Community Energy, Facebook and PacifiCorp to expand our solar presence in Utah."

The financing for this Hunter solar project was provided by a syndicate of lenders led by HSBC as coordinating lead arranger and CIBC as joint lead arranger, while Wells Fargo provided a commitment for tax equity financing.

Swinerton Renewable Energy, an EPC and SOLV services provider for solar photovoltaic (PV) plants and energy storage facilities in North America, will construct the project and provide operations and maintenance (O&M) services following its commercial operations date (COD).

While talking about the project ownership, Emily Burks, executive vice president and general counsel of Community Energy, said that "Community Energy is inspired by the partnership and leadership of DESRI, Facebook, PacifiCorp and Emery County in making the 100 MW Hunter project a reality.

"This project illustrates the strong commitment that DESRI, Facebook and PacifiCorp have to bring cost-effective, renewable energy to the Utah grid. The Hunter project takes us all one step closer to bringing America towards a carbon-free energy future," Burks added.

On the opportunities the project will offer, George Hershman, president of Swinerton Renewable Energy, commented that "construction on Hunter Solar provides an employment opportunity for hundreds of workers during a period marked by downturn and layoffs in many other industries. Solar projects like Hunter are helping keep Americans working safely and the economy moving forward."

This project has already moved into the construction phase and is expected to employ more than 300 people during construction. The project also is expected to create significant tax revenue to Emery County over the project life.