The U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office has offered a conditional commitment to aid in the finance of the world’s largest distributed rooftop solar generation project. The loan for $1.4 billion was guaranteed to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Prologis and NRG Energy. The $2.6 billion project is being entirely financed by the private sector. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the sole lender of the transaction. The transaction is being executed under the Department of Energy’s Financial Institutions Partnership Program (FIPP).
The solar project is expected to generate more than 10,000 jobs in 28 states. Upon completion, the project will generate approximately 733 megawatts (MW) of solar energy, enough to power about 100,000 homes. The first phase, which consists of 15 MW of solar capacity, is ready for immediate construction and installation in Southern California. The power will then be sold to a local utility. NRG Energy will be the lead investor for the first phase with the right of first offer for the remainder of the 733 MW. NRG Energy will also provide resources and expertise for the installations.
“NRG believes rooftop solar is a smart choice for industrial, commercial and residential property owners in markets around the country, and this program provides the commercial scale that will bring the benefits of solar power to customers across the country,” said Tom Doyle, president of NRG Solar, NRG’s solar subsidiary. “This program will nearly double the amount of grid-connected solar online in the United States today and make another positive contribution to cleaner air and a healthy environment.”
Prologis will act as developer, construction manager, and program sponsor along with providing site access to rooftops. The company, an operator and developer of industrial real estate, has an industry leading commitment to renewable energy. “This project will add significant scale to the distributed solar market and provides economic and environmental benefit to our shareholders and customers,” said Drew Torbin, vice president of Prologis Renewable Energy.