Swift Current Energy has closed project financing for its 800 MW DC / 593 MW AC Double Black Diamond Solar project. Once operational, Double Black Diamond is expected to be the second largest single-phase solar project in the United States and the largest solar project in MISO, producing enough energy yearly to power the equivalent of more than 100,000 homes.
Located 30 miles west of Springfield, Ill., Double Black Diamond is currently being built and 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 U.S., 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 several customers. 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.
Double Black Diamond is scheduled to be energized in 2024. During its operational life, the project is expected to provide $100 million in tax revenue to Sangamon and Morgan counties in central Illinois, where it is located.
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 U.S. solar project. ING acted as the Green Loan Structuring Agent and Wilmington Trust acted as the Collateral Agent and Depositary Agent.
Swift Current Energy, which is owned by BAES Infrastructure, IFM Net Zero Infrastructure Fund and Lookout Ridge Energy Partners, is the project developer and will be the long-term owner and operator.
Eric Lammers, CEO and co-founder of Swift Current, comments: “Double Black Diamond 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.”
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.