Cypress Creek Renewables has completed a tax equity buyout and refinancing of project-level debt for 92 megawatts (MW) of its solar energy portfolio across North Carolina, making Cypress Creek the sole owner of these projects.
BNP Paribas acted as the primary lender and lead arranger for the transaction.
In the renewable energy industry, project sponsors are typically afforded an opportunity to purchase the equity interests held by tax equity investors in projects after the first five years of operations. This is the first such tax equity buyout transaction Cypress Creek has completed to date, and the company plans to pursue similar transactions to acquire sole ownership of more projects in its operating fleet going forward.
“We approached our first refinancing with a holistic, forward-looking strategy: to set up a new debt facility for our initial 92 MW of operating assets reaching their tax equity buyouts, while also establishing a clear framework to expand that facility to include large portions of the remainder of our 1.6 GW operating fleet. In our efforts to grow into one of the top U.S. independent power producers, it was key for us to capture this efficiency and low cost of capital, helped by today’s low interest rate environment.”Cassidy DeLine, VP of Project Finance for Cypress Creek.
“As a bank committed to numerous sustainability initiatives, we were delighted to assist Cypress Creek with this important transaction. It further demonstrates our commitment to the renewable energy sector and global financing target of € 18 billion by 2021.”Ravina Advani, head of Energy Natural Resources & Renewables Coverage at BNP Paribas.
Cypress Creek was represented by Kirkland & Ellis as its lead transaction counsel and by Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton as its North Carolina counsel. BNP Paribas was represented by White & Case as its lead transaction counsel with McGuireWoods acting as North Carolina counsel.