Muscle Shoals solar project : Ørsted acquires 294MW solar plant from Longroad Energy

Danish energy company Ørsted has grown its solar footprint by acquiring the Muscle Shoals solar project, a 294MW under construction solar power plant in Colbert County, Alabama, from Longroad Energy at its financial closing.

Financial terms of the deal were not revealed.

Concurrent to the solar plant acquisition, Ørsted said that it has entered into a tax equity funding commitment with Wells Fargo.

The Muscle Shoals solar project, which will be the largest renewable energy project in Alabama, is anticipated to begin operations in mid-2021 and Longroad Energy will handle its construction involving 300 people during peak.

Charles Spiliotis – Chief Investment Officer of Longroad Energy said: “Longroad is pleased with the results of our development and financing efforts.

“Closing renewable energy projects in the face of the global pandemic is a testament to the quality of the project, our team’s capabilities in development and financing, and our track record of delivering high quality, competitive investments.”

Map showing the location of the Muscle Shoals solar project

Map showing the location of the Muscle Shoals solar project. Image courtesy of Ørsted A/S.

The Muscle Shoals solar power plant is underpinned by a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

Swinerton Renewable Energy holds the EPC contract for the Muscle Shoals solar project, while First Solar will be providing the solar panels. The solar power project in Alabama will have trackers supplied by NEXTracker and inverter by Power Electronics.

For Ørsted, the Muscle Shoals solar project will be its second solar project in the US, after its decision in November 2019 to begin the construction of the Permian Energy Center solar plus storage project in Texas.

After the acquisition of the Muscle Shoals solar plant, Ørsted will have two solar projects with a total capacity of 647MWac of generation capacity under construction in the US along with 40MWac of storage capacity.

Vishal Kapadia – Ørsted Senior Vice President and CFO Onshore, commenting on the Muscle Shoals solar project acquisition, said: “The acquisition of Muscle Shoals continues the expansion of our solar portfolio and further diversifies the geographic footprint of our asset base by establishing a foothold in the rapidly growing Southeast solar market.

“Once complete, Muscle Shoals will deliver high-quality contracted revenues that will provide Ørsted an attractive incremental source of stable earnings.”

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