Pattern Energy Group LP, a leader in renewable energy and transmission infrastructure, has closed an $11 billion non-recourse financing and begun full construction of SunZia Transmission and SunZia Wind, which together is the largest clean energy infrastructure project in U.S. history. When completed, this project will transport up to 4,500 megawatts of primarily renewable energy from New Mexico to markets in Arizona and California, furthering the Biden-Harris administration’s historic climate and clean energy goals.
SunZia Transmission is a 550-mile ± 525 kV high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line between central New Mexico and south-central Arizona with the capacity to transport 3,000 MW of clean, reliable, and affordable electricity across Western states. SunZia Transmission will deliver clean power generated by Pattern Energy’s 3,515 MW SunZia Wind facility, the largest wind project in the Western Hemisphere, which is being constructed across Torrance, Lincoln, and San Miguel Counties in New Mexico.
The SunZia Transmission Project is composed of two planned 500-kilovolt transmission lines located across approximately 520 miles of federal, state and private lands between central New Mexico and central Arizona. The permitted route originates at a planned substation in Torrance County, New Mexico, and terminates at the existing Pinal Central Substation in Pinal County, Arizona. The project traverses Grant, Hidalgo, Lincoln, Luna, Sierra, Socorro, Torrance and Valencia counties in New Mexico and Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Pima and Pinal counties in Arizona. The project has committed to the highest workforce standards and will utilize union labor and trades.
This groundbreaking financing includes an integrated construction loan and letter of credit facility, two separate term facilities, an operating phase letter of credit facility, an innovative tax equity term loan facility and a holding company loan facility.
“Our hope is this successful financing of the largest clean energy infrastructure project in American history serves as an example for other ambitious renewable infrastructure initiatives that are needed to accelerate our transition to a carbon free future,” said Hunter Armistead, CEO of Pattern Energy. “We are very grateful to all of our financial partners who are backing SunZia as part of this record-setting project financing. Construction is well underway on this historic project that will deliver clean power with a generation profile that complements abundant solar generation available across the Western United States. We’d specifically like to thank our shareholders for their support of Pattern’s efforts to deliver this critical project and meaningfully advance the world’s energy transition.”
For the approximately $8.8 billion construction and term facilities, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, CoBank, ACB; Desjardins Group, Export Development Canada, ING Capital LLC, Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A., New York Branch, KFW IPEX-Bank, MUFG Bank, Ltd., National Bank of Canada, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking, Societe Generale, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC acted as Initial Coordinating Lead Arrangers and Joint Bookrunners. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, The Bank of Nova Scotia and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited, New York Branch acted as Coordinating Lead Arrangers.
BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, MUFG Bank, Ltd., Societe Generale, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation are acting as co-syndication agents. MUFG Bank, Ltd. is acting as Administrative Agent and Deutsche Bank Trust and Agency Services is acting as collateral and deposit agent for the transaction.
The financings are structured as green loan facilities in alignment with the Green Loan Principles and BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Desjardins Group, ING Capital LLC, Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A, New York Branch, National Bank of Canada, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking, Societe Generale, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC acted as Co-Green Loan Structuring Agents.
A $2.25 billion tax equity term loan facility was provided by Banco Santander, S.A, New York Branch and Santander Bank N.A. (SBNA) as Joint Coordinating Lead Arrangers. Bank of America, GE Vernova’s Financial Services business, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking and Royal Bank of Canada acted as Joint Lead Arrangers. SBNA acted as administrative agent. The facility monetizes project tax credit attributes.