BOSTON and HOUSTON, August 9, 2023 – Swift Current Energy (Swift Current) announced today that it has closed project financing for its 800 MWdc (593 MWac) Double Black Diamond Solar project. Once operational, Double Black Diamond Solar is expected to be second largest single phase solar project in the US, and the largest solar project in MISO, producing enough energy each year to power the equivalent of more than 100,000 homes and reduce regional carbon dioxide emissions by approximately one million tons per year. Located 30 miles west of Springfield, Illinois, Double Black Diamond Solar is currently under construction and is scheduled to be energized in 2024.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), Societe Generale, and Truist served as the coordinating lead arrangers, with MUFG and Societe Generale acting as Joint Bookrunners, for the landmark project financing, which includes $695 million in construction and tax equity bridge loans and an $84 million letter of credit facility, making it one of the largest project financings ever for a US solar project. ING acted as the Green Loan Structuring Agent and Wilmington Trust acted as the Collateral Agent and Depositary Agent. Swift Current is the project developer and will be the long-term owner and operator.
Eric Lammers, CEO and Co-Founder of Swift Current, said, “Double Black Diamond Solar is a transformative project, not only for our team, but also the American workers it is employing, the massive amount of emissions-free energy it will produce, and the stable revenue it will provide for the communities in Sangamon and Morgan counties. We are pleased to work again with MUFG, Societe Generale, ING, and Wilmington Trust and are excited to add Truist as a new partner.”
Lammers continued, “Since we began development of the project in 2018, the Swift Current team has felt a deep sense of conviction for Double Black Diamond Solar. I’m delighted today to reach this record-setting milestone and recognize my team and our construction and financing partners’ dedication to this project.”
“MUFG is proud to continue our partnership with Swift Current Energy with this new deal,” said Louise Pesce, Managing Director, Project Finance at MUFG. “This transaction demonstrates our bank’s commitment to supporting the climate transition economy through offering financing solutions for renewable energy projects. We look forward to working on more renewable energy projects in Swift Current Energy’s pipeline.”
Ahmed Maqsood, Director at Societe Generale’s Energy+ Group, said, “This was an especially gratifying financing for the bank to lead and support given the tangible positive impact the project will have on the state’s economy and in meeting the growing demand for renewable energy from various institutions within the state.”
Uzoma Enyinna, Director of Project Finance, Truist Securities, said, “We’re extremely pleased to support Swift Current Energy on the financing of the Double Black Diamond Solar project, extending the relationship with Swift Current and the teams at BAES Infrastructure and IFM, focusing on a cleaner and greener future together.”
BAES Infrastructure is the majority owner of Swift Current Energy, with the other owners being IFM Net Zero Infrastructure Fund and Lookout Ridge Energy Partners.
Jamie Cemm, CEO of BAES Infrastructure, said, “I would like to congratulate the Swift Current team and our partners for their hard work in getting to this achievement. Double Black Diamond will meaningfully advance the energy transition at the local, state and national level, while bringing tangible economic benefits to the local community and US workers.”
“This is a landmark transaction for Swift Current and a significant step toward building Swift Current into an industry-leading independent power producer. I am grateful to our partners for supporting us in getting to this milestone and look forward to working together again on future projects,” said Neil Doherty, Executive Director, Infrastructure, IFM Investors.
Double Black Diamond Solar currently employs approximately 450 construction workers. Swift Current selected McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) partner. The project utilizes First Solar modules, a majority of which are being manufactured in the US, as well as solar trackers from U.S.-based Nextracker.
Constellation will purchase a portion of the energy and RECs generated by Double Black Diamond Solar to serve the seven customers that have been announced. The City of Chicago will source renewable energy produced by the project to power several energy-intensive facilities, including Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport. Additionally, Cook County Illinois, CVS Health, Loyola University of Chicago, PPG, State Farm, and TransUnion have agreements to purchase power from the project via Constellation.
During its operational life, Double Black Diamond Solar is expected to provide $100 million in tax revenue to Sangamon and Morgan counties in central Illinois, where the project is located.
Vinson & Elkins LLP and Husch Blackwell LLP represented Swift Current in the transaction. Paul Hastings LLP advised MUFG, Societe Generale, Truist, and the other lenders party to the financing agreements.
About Swift Current Energy
Swift Current Energy is investing in renewable energy to create a sustainable future. Founded in 2016, the company develops, constructs, owns and operates highly competitive, utility-scale wind, solar and energy storage projects across the United States. BAES Infrastructure is the majority owner of Swift Current Energy, with the other owners being IFM Net Zero Infrastructure Fund and Lookout Ridge Energy Partners. For more information, please visit swiftcurrentenergy.com.
Media Contact for Swift Current Energy