Swift Current Energy Closes Project Financing for 800 MWdc Double Black Diamond Solar Project

The world’s energy landscape is rapidly changing, and renewable energy is leading the charge. Renewable energy is increasingly seen as the sustainable solution to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. Swift Current Energy (Swift Current) has announced the successful closing of the project financing for its 800 MWdc (593 MWac) Double Black Diamond Solar project in Illinois.

The project is expected to be the second largest single-phase solar project in the US and the largest solar project in MISO, which is a crucial step towards promoting green energy in the country.

From Maria Bries, 

Another one for the U.S. energy transition record books! Boston-based Swift Current Energy, led by CEO Eric D. Lammers, has closed one of the largest solar project financings in U.S. history, over $779M for its 800 MWdc/593 MWac Double Black Diamond project, located in Sangamon County, Illinois!

According to Ryan Kennedy of pv magazine USA: The financing includes $695M in construction and tax equity bridge loans and an $84M of credit facility. ING acted as the Green Loan Structuring Agent and Wilmington Trust acted as the Collateral Agent and Depositary Agent. Lenders included MUFG, Societe Generale, and Truist. https://lnkd.in/g_zYReqQ

The project will bring $100M in tax revenue to Sangamon and Morgan counties.

Ranked 16th in the country for solar capacity at 968 MW, the Black Diamond Project will propel Illinois to a top ten spot, which the state already holds for wind (#5 at 7 GW) and storage (#10 at 94 MW).

The project will provide most of the electricity for O’Hare Airport and Midway Airport, helping Chicago reach its goal of 100 percent renewable electricity for all municipal properties by 2025.

Constellation (a subsidiary of Exelon), a Baltimore-based company, will purchase a portion of the electricity and renewable energy credits produced at the site. It will then sell the electricity to Cook County Government, CVS Pharmacy, Loyola University Chicago, PPG, State Farm, and TransUnionusing its Constellation Offsite Renewables (CORe) product that connects customers to the economic and sustainability benefits of large-scale, offsite renewable energy projects and is among Constellation’s suite of retail power products that help customers achieve their carbon reduction goals. https://lnkd.in/gFPbvVZ5

Double Black Diamond will also qualify under the Illinois Power Agency’s Self Direct program, made possible by CEJA, enabling a more diverse and equitable workforce. The project has set apprenticeship, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion hiring goals, which are being facilitated by local unions.

The majority of the project’s 1.6M solar panels will be manufactured in the United States, allowing Swift to take advantage of the #IRA domestic content bonus credit.

Eric D. Lammers noted, “The Double Black Diamond solar project brings together American-based businesses McCarthy, First Solar and Nextracker Inc. to construct a market-leading project that we hope will serve as an example for other projects to come.” https://lnkd.in/gjP6T3q2

Energy from the project will be transmitted by MISO, making it the largest solar project in MISO (2nd in the US!) MISO led the US in total renewable generation output in fourth quarter 2022, surpassing ERCOT which had long held the top spot, as wind output soared across the country. See S&P GlobalReport: https://lnkd.in/g6C6RyXW

The Double Black Diamond Solar project, located 30 miles west of Springfield, Illinois, is set to become a major player in the solar energy landscape in the country. The project is currently under construction, with plans to be energized in 2024. The 800 MWdc (593 MWac) solar project will have enough power each year to power over 100,000 homes and reduce regional carbon dioxide emissions by approximately one million tons annually. The construction of this project will not only increase the availability of renewable energy but will also create employment opportunities in the region.

Swift Current partnered with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), Societe Generale, and Truist to serve as the lead arrangers for the landmark project financing. The financing plan includes $695 million in construction and tax equity bridge loans, making it one of the largest project financings ever for a US solar project. MUFG and Societe Generale acted as Joint Bookrunners, while Truist co-ordinated the financing. The project is set to be an exemplary model for large-scale solar projects worldwide.

The Double Black Diamond Solar project financing is a significant milestone in the development of renewable energy in the United States. The project will increase the capacity for solar energy, allowing more people to have access to renewable power. This project will increase the awareness of clean energy options and influence more companies to invest in renewable energy projects in the future, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and promoting cleaner and greener energy production.

The country is continuing to move towards clean energy, and solar energy is among the most accessible and affordable sources available. The completion of the Double Black Diamond Solar project will help to achieve the target of quickly moving towards a safe and efficient energy future. It paves the way for more ambitious renewable energy projects to follow, creating a better future for the planet.

The successful closing of project financing for Swift Current Energy’s Double Black Diamond Solar project indicates a shift towards a greener, cleaner, and more sustainable power supply. The project will bring about significant changes to the energy landscape, increasing renewable energy’s capacity and setting an example for other companies to follow. With more players in the market, we can drive down the costs of renewable energies, making it possible to transition to cheaper and cleaner energy. As we look towards the future, we can see that renewable energy plays a pivotal role in securing a healthy planet for future generations, and the Double Black Diamond Solar project is taking us one significant step closer.