Leeward Renewable Energy’s Horizon Solar Facility to Power Over 42,000 homes in Texas

Five men holding shovels for a ground breaking ceremony

(Credit: LRE LinkedIn)

by | Mar 16, 2023

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Five men holding shovels for a ground breaking ceremony

(Credit: LRE LinkedIn)

Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE) has raised $75 million in new construction financing and secured a $105 million tax equity commitment from Wells Fargo. The financing will be applied to the Horizon solar facility in Frio County, Texas, which is currently under construction.

MUFG acted as the principal financial institution in arranging the financing for the construction project and coordinated with other organizations to help make the project a success. The funding was made available under the Green Loan Principles, which encourage sustainable economic activity.

Last year, LRE announced it closed approximately $420 million in construction-to-term financing from MUFG and a $195 million tax equity commitment from Wells Fargo for its Big Plain Solar Facility located in London, Ohio, and the Oak Trail Solar Facility located near Moyock, North Carolina.

LRE extended financing for its Horizon solar facility, which will add more renewable energy to the company’s portfolio. Subsequently, this facility will be LRE’s fifth solar project in the country and the second solar project in Texas.

In 2021, PepsiCo, Best Buy, McCormick & Company, and two Viacom CBS TV stations signed long-term agreements to receive energy and corresponding RECs from the Big Star Solar Project under development in Bastrop County, Texas.

Horizon Solar Facility

The facility will be located on 1,640 acres of privately-owned land near Pearsall and connect to South Texas Electric Cooperative’s electric system.

According to Horizon, additional benefits of the project and facility include:

  • Substantial property tax contributions will add low-impact, assessed value to the region.
  • Approximately 400 new full-time equivalent jobs during construction.
  • Once operational, the solar facility is a passive use of the land and will not generate substantive amounts of traffic, dust, odors, or other nuisances.
  • Creates no emissions and requires limited amounts of water during operation.
  • The land will be stabilized and seeded, allowing the land to regenerate and the soil to rest.
  • Equipment is removed at the end of operations, and the land is restored to prior use.

Comments from Key Stakeholders

“We are pleased to close financing on our Horizon project, and we appreciate the continued confidence from our financial institutions as we grow our solar portfolio,” said Chris Loehr, Senior Vice President of Finance. “This milestone follows the successful development of our recently announced Big Plain and Oak Trail solar projects and further demonstrates our long-term commitment to excellence and ability to deliver on our pipeline of contracted projects. We highly value our financial partners’ continued trust and support, particularly under terms that help advance and enhance LRE’s environmental and social initiatives.”

Samantha Buechner, Director for Wells Fargo Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance, shared, “We’re pleased to provide tax equity financing for the Horizon Solar facility as Leeward continues to expand its solar portfolio. Wells Fargo has committed to deploy $500 billion in sustainable financing by 2030 to support the transition to a secure, resilient, and sustainable future, and projects such as Horizon align with those same goals.”

Once completed, the Horizon facility will generate enough electricity to power over 42,000 US homes each year. Additionally, this project will provide 200 megawatts of renewable energy to Verizon Communications. Horizon Solar is expected to reach commercial operation later in 2023.

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