N.C., Nov. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- First
Citizens Bank announced today that its Energy Finance business
acted as co-lead arranger on a $250
million financing on behalf of a portfolio of 327MW, 1hr
duration battery storage projects developed in California by Middle River Power.
First Citizens Bank and MUFG acted as co-lead arrangers on the
financing that includes a construction loan that will convert to a
term loan, a tax equity bridge loan, and project LC facilities.
Morgan Stanley Renewables Inc. has provided the tax equity
commitment for the portfolio.
The portfolio of three battery storage projects will be paired
with existing gas-fired peaking generation, creating
first-of-its-kind hybrid facilities providing both low-emissions
electricity and long-term reliability to Kings County and Fresno County, California.
Co-locating the natural gas peaking facilities with battery
storage results in significant reductions in greenhouse gas
emissions while maintaining reliable, flexible reserve capacity.
The battery facilities will be able to store excess solar power
during the day and release it when it is most needed over the
evening hours. In addition, the natural gas-fired combustion
turbines will dispatch significantly less often than they do today,
resulting in lower emissions, while remaining available to dispatch
during extreme conditions.
"Middle River Power is building on its reputation as a provider
of highly reliable power generation by developing high-quality
energy facilities that serve the environmental and economic
objectives of the regions where they do business," said
Mike Lorusso, managing director and
group head for First Citizens' Energy Finance unit. "We were
pleased to work with them again in supporting financing for this
innovative project which adds battery storage to existing gas
"California has been a global
leader in driving the clean energy transition, and this group of
innovative projects is another important milestone towards
providing the state with a reliable grid built on a foundation of
clean energy. We're thrilled to leverage our strong financial
relationships to bring these innovative projects to fruition,
integrating additional renewable energy while enhancing a resilient
grid. The energy storage assets store plentiful solar energy in the
middle of the day then deploy that energy to the grid during
evening peak hours, while maintaining natural gas facilities as a
flexible, reliable backstop," said Mark
Kubow, CEO of Middle River Power. "We are excited to
introduce this first tranche of projects that takes such a
meaningful step in helping California in the transition to more renewable
resources. We are excited to continue to work with our
customers and partners to also bring the rest of the development
pipeline to market in the coming years."
About First Citizens Bank
First Citizens Bank helps
personal, business, commercial and wealth clients build financial
strength that lasts. Headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., and now celebrating the 125th
anniversary of its founding, First Citizens has built a unique
legacy of strength, stability and long-term thinking that has
spanned generations. First Citizens offers an array of general
banking services including a network of more than 500 branches and
offices in 30 states; commercial banking expertise delivering
best-in-class lending, leasing and other financial services coast
to coast; innovation banking serving businesses at every stage; and
a nationwide direct bank. Parent company First Citizens BancShares,
Inc. (NASDAQ: FCNCA) is a top 20 U.S. financial institution with
more than $200 billion in assets.
Discover more at firstcitizens.com.
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SOURCE First Citizens Bank