Recurrent Energy breaks ground on a large solar project that could create hundreds of jobs in the Austin area

Austin Energy serves more than 500,000 customers in the City of Austin.

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Ontario — Canadian Solar announced its wholly-owned subsidiary, Recurrent Energy, commenced construction on the 144 MWac Pflugerville Solar Project located in Travis County, Texas.

Recurrent Energy signed a Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) with Austin Energy in 2018 for the Pflugerville Solar Project to provide low-cost solar power to the utility’s customers for 15 years following the start of operation.

This PPA supports Austin Energy’s renewable energy goals which commit the utility to cost-effectively reduce emissions and includes plans to exit from its coal-fired power generation by the end of 2022. Austin Energy serves more than 500,000 customers in the City of Austin, as well as several neighboring areas of Travis County and Williamson County.

“We are thrilled about this partnership with Recurrent Energy on the Pflugerville Solar Project,” said Jackie Sargent, Austin Energy General Manager. “The project not only expands our renewable portfolio and advances our climate protection goals, it is also located near our customer base. The solar project will also deliver affordable energy to our customers and it demonstrates Austin Energy’s continued dedication to fiscal responsibility and environmental leadership. This project is a win-win.”

By partnering with Austin Energy on the Pflugerville Solar Project, Recurrent Energy is further expanding its footprint in Texas. With the resources and capabilities to deliver customized clean energy products and project configurations for a wide variety of customers, Recurrent Energy’s Texas partnerships to date include vertically-integrated utilities, a leading ERCOT load serving entity, and multiple C&I offtakers.

The Pflugerville Solar Project is expected to create long-term permanent jobs to support the operation and maintenance of the power plant, as well as more than 350 construction jobs of which at least 50% will be performed by local workers. The project will also have a positive economic impact on the local community by providing tax revenues for Travis County and the Elgin ISD, which will total approximately $350 million throughout the life of the project. Once operational, the Pflugerville Solar Project is expected to generate enough low-cost clean electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 25,000 Texas homes.

“This is an incredible accomplishment given the ongoing financing and construction challenges due to the pandemic. It demonstrates the dedication and capabilities of our Recurrent team, both in the tax equity financing and on-the-ground execution, and the resilience of all our partners to overcome the unique challenges together,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar. “We are pleased to partner again with Austin Energy as we share their commitment to provide low-cost clean energy to customers. We appreciate our trusted partners, such as U.S. Bank, CIT, Nord/LB, Rabobank, and Zions Bank, who helped to bring this project to fruition and thank the local Travis County community for their continued support through the development process.”

To support construction of the Pflugerville Solar Project, Recurrent Energy recently closed debt and tax equity financing totaling over $234 million. The tax equity financing was provided by U.S. Bank and the debt financing was provided by a bank club led by CIT Bank (“CIT”), which included Norddeutsche Landesbank (“Nord/LB”), Rabobank, and Zions Bank.

“Recurrent Energy is well recognized as a top developer of renewable energy projects,” said Mike Lorusso, managing director and group head for CIT’s Power and Energy unit. “We are pleased to work them on this financing and proud to play a continuing role in supporting the expansion of renewable power throughout the U.S.”

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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