SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) announced today it has provided project financing for an 11.3 megawatt (MW) solar project developed by Sun Edison LLC, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR). Located in southern New Mexico near El Paso, Texas, this is the sixth SunEdison utility scale solar project funded by Wells Fargo in the past year. El Paso Electric Company (EPE) (NYSE:EE) will purchase the power supplied by the project for the next 25 years under a Power Purchase Agreement.
Wells Fargo has invested more than $1 billion in solar project equity investments since 2007. This includes more than 250 commercial-scale solar PV projects, six utility-scale solar PV projects and a utility-scale concentrating solar thermal power plant. To date, Wells Fargo has provided over $2.8 billion in equity and over $900 million in debt financing for renewable energy projects in 28 states.
"The success of these projects demonstrates that the industry is growing as solar continues to provide a greater portion of the country’s energy mix,” said Barry Neal, head of Wells Fargo's Environmental Finance Group. "As one of the leading capital providers to the cleantech industry, Wells Fargo is committed to supporting solar power generation through investments such as the Chaparral project and to helping companies like SunEdison meet their financing needs."
The El Chaparral Solar Farm is situated on over 140 acres of land and is comprised of over 40,300 solar modules including MEMC Silvantis® solar modules. The facility is designed to produce approximately 26 million kilowatt hours of energy annually. This is enough energy to power 2,400 homes in the local community on an annual basis. Solar energy from the plant is expected to abate more than 38 million pounds of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to removing more than approximately 3,700 cars per year, or 81,000 cars off the road during the 25 year period. The solar facility also saves more than 4.5 million gallons of water per year that would have otherwise been consumed if the electricity were generated by a natural gas combined cycle power plant.
“We are pleased to continue our work with Wells Fargo and El Paso Electric Company,” said Chris Bailey, vice president of Project Finance, North America for SunEdison. “Being able to complete multiple projects together with both of these partners demonstrates our strong business relationships and ability to deliver projects on time.”
The project is part of EPE’s ongoing strategy to expand the amount of renewable energy included as part of its energy portfolio used to meet its customers’ demand. Since 2011, EPE has contracted for more than 47 MW of solar generating capacity, including project construction and power purchase agreements.
“This project underscores El Paso Electric’s continued commitment to be a leader in the solar industry and to further advance the development of renewable energy resources in its service territory,” said Tom Shockley, CEO at El Paso Electric. “EPE continues to evaluate opportunities to increase its renewable energy portfolio and to positively impact the environment. Currently, EPE’s renewable energy projects and purchase agreements represent almost 3 percent of the Company’s net dedicated generating capacity, which is one of the largest percentages of renewable energy in the United States for a company of EPE’s size.”
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank’s customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 full-time equivalent team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2012 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.
SunEdison is a global provider of solar-energy services. The company develops finances, installs and operates distributed power plants using proven photovoltaic technologies, delivering fully managed, and predictably priced solar energy services for its commercial, government and utility customers. In 2011 SunEdison interconnected approximately 300 Megawatts of solar throughout the world. For more information about SunEdison, please visit www.sunedison.com
MEMC is a world leader in semiconductor and solar technology. MEMC has been a pioneer in the design and development of silicon wafer technologies for over 50 years. With R&D and manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, MEMC enables the next generation of high performance semiconductor devices and solar cells. Through its SunEdison subsidiary, MEMC is also a developer of solar power projects and a worldwide leader in solar energy services. MEMC's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "WFR". For more information about MEMC, please visit www.memc.com.
About El Paso Electric
El Paso Electric is a regional electric utility providing generation, transmission and distribution service to approximately 384,000 retail and wholesale customers in a 10,000 square mile area of the Rio Grande valley in west Texas and southern New Mexico. With approximately 1,000 employees, El Paso Electric is one of the largest employers in the City of El Paso. El Paso Electric has a net dependable generating capability of 1,785 MW, plus 48 MW of renewable purchased power. El Paso Electric’s common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “EE.” For more information about El Paso Electric Company please visit www.epelectric.com