Cypress Creek Renewables, a company that develops, finances, owns and operates utility-scale and distributed facilities, has completed a tax equity buyout and refinancing of project-level debt for 92 MW of its solar energy portfolio across North Carolina, making Cypress Creek the sole owner of these projects.
In the renewable energy industry, project sponsors are typically afforded an opportunity to purchase the equity interests held by tax equity investors in projects after the first five years of operations. This is the first such tax equity buyout transaction Cypress Creek has completed to date, and the company plans to pursue similar transactions to acquire sole ownership of more projects in its operating fleet going forward.
“We approached our first refinancing with a holistic, forward-looking strategy: to set up a new debt facility for our initial 92 MW of operating assets reaching their tax equity buyouts, while also establishing a clear framework to expand that facility to include large portions of the remainder of our 1.6 GW operating fleet,” says Cassidy DeLine, vice president of project finance for Cypress Creek. “In our efforts to grow into one of the top U.S. independent power producers, it was key for us to capture this efficiency and low cost of capital, helped by today’s low-interest-rate environment.”
Cypress Creek was represented by Kirkland & Ellis LLP as its lead transaction counsel and by Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP as its North Carolina counsel. BNP Paribas was represented by White & Case LLP as its lead transaction counsel with McGuireWoods LLP acting as North Carolina counsel.
Cypress Creek provides ongoing operations and maintenance and asset management for its entire fleet.