Innergex Buys 250MW Texas Solar Project

Phoebe marks the company’s largest such project and has a 12-year power purchase agreement with Shell Energy North America, commencing in July 2019.

Canadian company Innergex Renewable Energy has acquired development rights for a 250-megawatt photovoltaic solar project in Winkler County, Texas, from Longroad Energy Partners. The farm should reach commercial operation in the third quarter of 2019 and is Innergex’s largest solar project to date.

Dubbed Phoebe, the facility will cost $397 million to build and will be partly financed, in priority, through a $292 million construction and long-term project financing led by the energy finance unit of CIT Group. Innergex will fund its $105 million equity commitment after the debt is fully drawn. Once it reaches commercial operation, a subsidiary of Wells Fargo is expected to fund the tax equity investment, which will be used to repay the tax equity bridge loan, with the balance being distributed to Innergex.

Tech specs and output

The Phoebe photovoltaic solar farm will consist of First Solar Series 6 thin film modules operated by the panel manufacturer under a 5-year operation and maintenance contract. The inverters are by Power Electronics, model HEM 3000. Its installed capacity will be 250-MW-ac/315-MW-dc, with an average annual power generation of 738,000-megawatt hours, sufficient to power about 53,000 Texas households.

All of Phoebe’s output will be sold to ERCOT power grid and receive a fixed price on 89 percent of its energy produced under a 12-year power purchase agreement with Shell Energy North America, starting July 2019. The remainder of the farm’s output will receive a merchant market price. Moreover, the solar project will benefit from the sale of Renewable Energy Certificates in the merchant market to boost its revenues.

“With this acquisition, we are in a good position to provide peak renewable power to the ERCOT market, complementing wind energy production and diversifying our footprint in the state. This acquisition brings us closer to exceeding our goal of achieving net 2,000 MW by 2020 …,” said Michel Letellier, president & CEO of Innergex, in prepared remarks.