BY BEN COOK
- Financing of Nevada solar-storage project seen as ‘monumental’
- Winning backing of banks was major challenge
- Gemini scheme viewed as blueprint for future solar-storage projects
The recent $1.9 billion debt and equity financing of the Gemini solar and storage project in Clark County, Nevada was described as “monumental” by Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, the owner of the project.
It’s not hard to see why. It’s a deal that has taken years to put together and means construction of the 690 MWac/966 MWdc solar PV and 380 MW/1,416 MWh battery storage project can now begin.
Quinbrook is calling it the “largest single project of its kind to begin construction in the US”, and hopes are high for the scheme. David Scaysbrook, managing partner of Quinbrook, claims the Gemini project will set “new benchmarks for both sustainable renewables development and meaningful ESG impact across job creation, environmental stewardship, emissions, and local community engagement.”
Winning backing was major challenge
One of the biggest challenges Quinbrook faced was winning the backing of banks for the project. But it was a challenge that Quinbrook – along with its portfolio company Primergy Solar – ultimately overcame.
The Gemini debt financing consists of $1.3 billion in credit facilities, including a construction/term loan, tax equity bridge loan and letter of credit facility. The financing also includes $532 million in tax equity commitments – which is understood to be the largest single-asset tax equity solar financings ever completed in the US – provided by Truist Bank and Bank of America. The construction facilities were led by four coordinating lead arrangers, KeyBanc Capital Markets, MUFG Bank, Bank of America, and Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale.
The coordinating lead arrangers successfully syndicated the credit facilities to 19 lenders, and Quinbrook and Primergy arranged the $95 million mezzanine debt facility from Voya Investment Management.
So who were the individuals responsible for putting together this landmark deal? Here, Energy Storage Report gives you a run-down of the key dealmakers that put together a deal that is ultimately expected to act as a showcase for the benefits of pairing large scale solar power with storage, as well as serving as a blueprint for similar deals in the future.
David Scaysbrook, co-founder and managing partner, Quinbrook
Scaysbrook leads on Quinbrook’s strategy and is chair of the firm’s investment committee. He was formerly senior managing director and co-founder/global head of the clean energy & infrastructure division at Capital Dynamics Group between 2010 and 2015. He also founded Novera Energy PLC.
Ty Daul, CEO, Primergy Solar
Prior to joining Primergy in 2020, Daul was president at Recurrent Energy and, before that, vice president, Americas, energy group at Canadian Solar.
Aaron Klein, manager director, utilities power & renewables, KeyBanc Capital Markets
Colarado-based Klein has been with Keybanc for 17 years. He has been quoted as saying the Covid-19 pandemic served to demonstrate the resilience of renewable assets and also was a key factor in the world “waking up” to ESG investing.
Karen Fang, global head of sustainable finance, Bank of America
New York-based Fang has been with Bank of America for 12 years, prior to that she was a managing director at Goldman Sachs.
Edward Levin, SVP and co-head direct infrastructure, Voya Investment Management
Levin has been with Voya Investment Management for three years. Before that, he was a partner at private equity fund manager Pegasus Capital Advisors.
Rohit Sachdev, partner, Orrick
Sachdev, a partner at law firm Orrick, co-led the legal team advising Primergy. He has significant experience in the solar, wind, energy storage, gas and biofuel sectors, with a particular focus on the US, and California in particular.
Thomas Glascock, partner, Orrick
Co-leader of the legal team advising Primergy, San Francisco-based Glascock has more than 30 years of experience in energy and infrastructure project finance and restructurings, and acquisition and development transactions.
Daniel Sinaiko, partner, Allen & Overy
Los Angeles-based Sinaiko co-led the Allen & Overy team advising Voya Investment Management on the $95 million mezzanine debt facility. Sinaiko is a partner in the firm’s global projects, energy, natural resources and infrastructure practice. He advises developers, sponsors, lenders and investors on capital and infrastructure projects.
Jean Lee, partner, Allen & Overy
Lee co-led the Allen & Overy team advising Voya Investment Management. A partner in the Allen & Overy’s global projects, energy, natural resources and infrastructure group, Lee co-leads the agency finance practice in the Washington DC office.
Paragon Energy Capital served as the tax equity advisor to Primergy, while Hunton Andrews Kurth provided tax equity legal counsel to Truist. Milbank LLP provided tax equity counsel to Bank of America, while Winston & Strawn LLP provided legal counsel to the lenders.
Image (clockwise from top left): Jean Lee (Allen & Overy); Aaron Klein (KeyBanc Capital Markets); Daniel Sinaiko (Allen & Overy); Karen Fang (Bank of America); Thomas Glascock (Orrick); Edward Levin (Voya Investment Management); Ty Daul (Primergy Solar); Rohit Sachdev (Orrick); and David Scaysbrook (Quinbrook).