The world needs investors that are prepared to take some changes with development of renewable technologies that someday can take way our dependence to dwindling fossil fuel reserves. Concentrated solar thermal technologies are now at the stage where investment is needed to build some really large projects where we can gain experience and learn to improve them.
Leading investors around the world are looking for innovative companies and technologies that are part of the clean energy revolution, recognizing the tremendous economic and job creation opportunities that renewableenergy brings.
Over $7.7 trillion will be invested in power generation worldwide from 2013-2026, two thirds of which, about $5.1 trillion, will flow to renewables according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.And as renewable energy penetration grows, the need for cost-effective, utility-scale renewable generation with storage technology will become increasingly important for mitigating intermittency problems, delivering power into peak demand periods and supporting transmission system reliability.
One such diversified investor, Capital One, N.A., has acquired a tax equity stake in the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project with an investment of up to$78 million. Crescent Dunes is a utility-scale solar facility featuring SolarReserve’s proprietary molten salt energy storage technology, enabling day and night operation.
The facility delivers 110 megawatts of electricity plus 1,100 megawatt-hours of energy storage to Nevada’s grid under a 25-year power purchase agreement with NV Energy, Nevada’s largest utility.There is no other existing solar project at this scale that can provide on-demand energy 24 hours a day, without any fossil fuel back up.
Together with SolarReserve’s proven technology design, the use of molten salt represents the most flexible, efficient and cost-effective form of large-scale energy storage available today.
A Concentrated Solar Project.
SolarReserve, project developer and managing investor, along with initial equity investors ACS Cobra, and Santander will maintain their ownership stakein the project, a demonstration of their continued commitment to the project.Cohn Reznick Capital Markets Securities (CRCMS) advised SolarReserve on the transactions.
“We are very pleased to announce this new partnershipwith Capital One,” said Kevin Smith, Chief Executive Officer of SolarReserve.
U.S.-developed innovative renewable energy technologies hold the promise of the expansion of U.S. exports, creation of jobs in the solar industry, and strengthening of the nation’s economy. SolarReserve’s American innovation deployed at the Crescent Dunes facility is a model for projects around the globe.
“Capital One’sinvestment demonstrates that theproject’s proven performance and technology testing can satisfy commercial investor review, and confirms the market’s interest in SolarReserve’s advanced solar thermal technology,”added Stephen Mullennix, Chief Financial Officer of SolarReserve.
“We are excited to be working with SolarReserve, a leader in the renewable energy market,” said George Revock, Managing Director and Head of Alternative Energy and Project Finance at Capital One Bank.
This investment will help provide affordable, on-demand energy to thousands of consumers in communities across Nevada, and also supports Capital One’s sustainable energy initiative.
Equity investments in energy projects to better utilize the depreciation and other tax attributesare common in the US renewables sector. Once a solar energy project has completed construction and is commercially operating, developers often secure investment partners with income structures that canmore efficientlyutilize the tax benefits created by the investment in the project. Now that theCrescent Dunes project is incommercial operations, the initial equity investors, led by SolarReserve, secured Capital One as atax equityinvestor as part of theirstrategy to bring in additional long term investment into the project.
About SolarReserveSolarReserve is a leading global renewable infrastructure developer of utility-scale solar power projects, which include electricity generation by solar thermal energy with energy storage, as well as photovoltaicpanels. The deployment of these renewable technologies brings additional benefits to global economies through job creation, greater energy security, and a more sustainable future.
The company has more than $1.8 billion of projects in operation worldwide, with development and long-term power contracts for 480 megawatts of solar projects representing $2.9 billion of project capital. In addition, SolarReserve has commercialized its proprietary advanced solar thermal technology with integrated energy storage that solves the intermittency issues experienced with other renewable energy sources.
SolarReserve’s U.S. developed technology uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight to directly heat molten salt and then store it so electricity can be produced day and night. Solar facilities using this technology operate like fossil fuel or nuclear powered plants –except with zero emissions, hazardous waste,or dependence on volatile fuel supply. Since the company’s formation in early 2008, SolarReserve’s experienced team has assembled a pipeline of over 13 gigawatts across the world’s most attractive, high growth renewable energy markets.
SolarReserve is headquartered in California, and maintains a global presence with seven international offices to support widespread project development activities across more than 20 countries.www.solarreserve.com
About Gordon Smith Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.