Plans for the largest solar plus storage project in the United States came together quickly, and the sponsors needed a $1.9 billion financing package to keep the development on track.
Located on about 6,000 acres in the Mojave Desert about 30 miles from Las Vegas, the Gemini Solar + Storage project will feature more than 1.8 million solar modules.
When complete, Gemini will have a capacity of 690 MWac/966 MWdc PV and 380 MW/1,416 MWh battery storage—enough to power all the homes in the city of Las Vegas during super peak periods.
Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners and its portfolio company Primergy Solar needed large tax equity commitments eighteen months before funding would occur, which can pose a challenge for many developers and financial institutions.
Andrew Rosenbaum, Managing Director—Power & Renewables at Truist Securities, spoke with the sponsors in the fall of 2021 and appreciated the positive impact a project of this scale would have on the environment.
Collaboration across Truist teams
Rosenbaum joined Truist Securities Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Gregg, other senior Truist leaders, and the Project Finance Tax Equity team at a meeting with Quinbrook and Primergy. Truist agreed to provide more than half of the tax equity commitments.
About 15 Truist teammates provided support on the complex transaction, including the senior leadership team and members of the project finance, mergers and acquisitions, coverage, and risk teams.
In April, financial notice to proceed for the project was announced: The Gemini project had secured $1.9 billion of financing commitments, including construction/term loan, tax equity bridge loan, and a letter of credit facility.
Largest tax equity solar financing in the U.S.
The transaction has $532 million in tax equity commitments, the majority of which was provided by Truist. It’s believed to be the largest single-asset tax equity solar financing ever completed in the U.S.
“Our team was nimble, flexible, and creative, and we stayed focused on what mattered—being a partner and meeting our client’s needs,” Rosenbaum says. “We got the right people in the room so we could make a commitment early on.”
The project is expected to create about 1,300 jobs during construction, which is scheduled to run through 2023.
The $1.2 billion Gemini project will deliver renewable energy under a 25-year purchase agreement with NV Energy, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.
“This was a great example of how Truist is bringing together the right people, services, and products to support renewable energy projects,” Rosenbaum says.