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SOLAR DAILY
Capital One invests big in SolarReserve's Crescent Dunes solar energy project
by Staff Writers
Santa Monica CA (SPX) Jan 18, 2017


Now that the Crescent Dunes project is in commercial operations, the initial equity investors, led by SolarReserve, secured Capital One as a tax equity investor as part of their strategy to bring in additional long term investment into the project.

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 renewable energy 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.

SolarReserve, project developer and managing investor, along with initial equity investors ACS Cobra, and Santander will maintain their ownership stake in the project, a demonstration of their continued commitment to the project.

"We are very pleased to announce this new partnership with 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's investment demonstrates that the project'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 attributes are 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 can more efficiently utilize the tax benefits created by the investment in the project.

Now that the Crescent Dunes project is in commercial operations, the initial equity investors, led by SolarReserve, secured Capital One as a tax equity investor as part of their strategy to bring in additional long term investment into the project.


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