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Recurrent Energy sells 144MWac solar project to Duke Energy Renewables

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Image: Canadian Solar

Canadian Solar wholly-owned subsidiary, Recurrent Energy, has completed the sale of the 144 MWac Pflugerville solar project to Duke Energy Renewables, a subsidiary of Duke Energy.

The project is under construction in Travis County, Texas and is scheduled to be commercially operational by mid-2021. The electricity generated by the Pflugerville Solar project will be sold to Austin Energy under a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

“This sale to Duke Energy Renewables is another milestone that demonstrates Recurrent Energy’s leadership position in the United States, where we currently have more than 5,700 MWac of solar projects under construction and in development.

“The execution and sales process for this project was disrupted due to the COVID pandemic. However, we were nimble and quickly secured the financing to start construction and close the sale on time. To complete this transaction in 2020 is quite an achievement and I thank our teams and partners for their dedication and hard work.

“We have a long-standing relationship with Duke Energy Renewables and are pleased that they have become the new owners of Pflugerville Solar, as it is a landmark project that will power local homes in the Austin area, supporting the clean energy transition as the Lone Star State continues to diversify its energy mix.”

Shawn Qu, chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar.

“We’re excited to add this terrific project to our growing Texas solar portfolio to meet the increasing demand for power in the state and support our longstanding relationship with Austin Energy. In addition to providing Austin Energy’s customers with low-cost clean energy, this project will also bring significant economic benefits to the state.”

Chris Fallon, president of Duke Energy Renewables.

Austin Energy, the power utility of the City of Austin, serves more than 500,000 customers’ accounts and more than one million people in Greater Austin. This PPA supports the renewable energy targets of Austin Energy, which commit the utility to achieving at least 55 percent of renewable energy by 2025 and 65 percent of renewable energy by the end of 2027. The project also supports Duke Energy’s target of doubling its renewable energy resources by the end of 2025.

“We currently meet 63 percent of our customers’ energy needs with carbon-free resources. Adding the Pflugerville Solar project to our portfolio will bring us closer to meeting our affordability and climate protection goals adopted by the Austin City Council and championed by our customers.”

Jackie Sargent, Austin Energy general manager.

The 144 MWac Pflugerville Solar Project will produce enough electricity to power about 27,000 homes. Approximately 489,600 pieces of Canadian Solar’s high performance bifacial BiKu modules will be used around 932 acres in Travis County, Texas. The engineering and design of the project is carried out by Signal Energy.

In order to finance the construction of the plant, in August, Recurrent Energy closed down a total of more than $234 million in debt and tax equity funding. Tax equity funding was provided by U.S. Bank and debt financing was provided by a bank club headed by CIT Bank, including Norddeutsche Landesbank, Rabobank and Zions Bank. Duke Energy Renewables will provide long-term project operations and maintenance services.

Nedim Husomanovic

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