Longroad Energy has announced that the Sun Streams 2 project, one of four it bought from First Solar, is now online. More importantly, it also has a capital structure to keep it running viably.

The 200MWdc Sun Streams 2 project was announced in 2019 as a partnership between Microsoft and First Solar, with its capacity designed to offset the energy used by Microsoft's Arizona data centers. Longroad bought the project, along with the as-yet-unbuilt Sun Streams 3, 4, and 5, from First Solar in February 2021, and now has a package of funding from lenders, tax incentives, and commercial buyers to run the project.

A long road to net zero

Microsoft has promised to be net-zero by 2030, matching its energy use hour-by-hour with renewable sources. Sun Streams 2, in Maricopa County, Arizona, is part of Microsoft's plan to offset the energy used by its El Mirage and Goodyear campuses. The hyperscaler has a 20-year revenue agreement for the energy, RECs, and capacity of the full project to support the renewable energy goals of its new data center region, West US 3, announced in June.

First Solar, the original developer of Sun Streams 2, sold the project to Longroad in February, along with the three other Sun Streams projects in development which are due to go online from 2022 to 2024. The four projects total 900 MWdc, and could potentially also host 1-2 GWh of battery storage.

“Sun Streams 2 is a great project, and we are happy to finalize the permanent capital structure,” said Peter Keel, CFO of Longroad Energy. “We are grateful to our lenders CIBC, Silicon Valley Bank, and Helaba. Also, we are pleased to complete our first tax equity transaction with PNC Bank. Longroad values our financial partners and looks forward to many more deals with them in the future.”

The projects are expected to generate over $40 million for Arizona’s schools via a long-term lease with the Arizona State Land Department, and over $5 million in tax revenue, according to Longroad.

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