Dive Brief:

  • Recurrent Energy, a utility-scale solar and energy storage project developer, said Tuesday it raised $160 million in project financing for its Bayou Galion Solar project and secured Microsoft as a customer.
  • According to the developer, Microsoft will be the sole purchaser of all the energy and renewable energy credits produced by the 127 MW project located in Northeast Louisiana’s Morehouse Parish. Bayou Galion Solar is currently under construction and expected to be operational by this fall.
  • Recurrent expects the project to “significantly expand” the amount of renewable energy capacity produced in Louisiana, which currently has the capacity to produce an estimated 13 GW of solar power. An earlier estimate from the developer said the project is poised to generate enough clean electricity to power more than 20,500 homes in the state annually.

Dive Insight:

Recurrent, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar, began developing Bayou Galion Solar in 2018 and started construction of the project in December. The developer said it paired with Primoris Renewable Energy — an engineering, procurement and construction company specializing in utility and commercial scale solar power delivery and energy storage markets — for the project’s construction process. 

Once the construction is completed, Recurrent said it will both own and operate the project as part of its bid to expand its renewable energy portfolio.

“This project represents an important milestone as we continue to advance our pipeline in new markets and increase project ownership,” Recurrent CEO Ismael Guerrero said in the press release.

Upon announcing the development of Bayou Galion Solar, Recurrent said the project would create up to 300 jobs during the construction process. Once operational, the project is also expected to increase tax revenue for Morehouse Parish’s public services, allowing more funds to be funneled into schools, road upgrades and other infrastructure improvements annually.

The Austin, Texas-based energy developer aims to provide solutions that support a transition to a low-carbon grid while also increasing grid reliability, per its website. The company has several commercial solar and energy storage plants around the globe, including three based in the U.S.: a solar power and storage facility in California, a solar unit in Mississippi and another energy storage facility in California.

Recurrent’s partnership with Microsoft looks to assist the tech giant in achieving its climate goals, which include becoming carbon negative by 2030. Microsoft has also been a vocal advocate of legislation that holds companies accountable for their carbon footprint. 

Last year, the software developer penned a letter alongside other companies — such as Ikea, Adobe and Patagonia — supporting California’s Senate Bill 253, which requires business entities operating in California with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion to annually report their greenhouse gas emissions. The bill was signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom shortly after in October.

Project financing for Recurrent’s solar project follows news of BlackRock investing $500 million last month for a 20% stake in Recurrent in a move to grow the asset manager’s renewable energy portfolio. The transaction marked the inaugural investment for BlackRock’s fourth climate infrastructure fund, which the asset manager launched last year. Canadian Solar continues to be Recurrent’s majority shareholder.

Recurrent did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.