Lightsource bp closes financing on Driver Solar Project in Arkansas

Lightsource bp has successfully closed on a $327 million financing package for the 313 MW Driver Solar project located near Osceola in Mississippi County, Arkansas and is to commence construction of the facility under a build-transfer agreement with Entergy Arkansas announced last year.
Lightsource bp closes financing on Driver Solar Project in Arkansas
Courtesy of Lightsource bp.

Driver Solar will be the largest solar farm in Entergy Arkansas’ portfolio as well as the largest in the state of Arkansas, generating enough energy to power more than 50,000 homes.

“One of our key commitments to customers is to help them find economic solutions to meet their sustainability goals” said Laura Landreaux, president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas. “Driver Solar plays a big role in providing savings to all customers and supporting businesses like U.S. Steel as they continue to advance their own clean energy future. These partnerships are helping to drive incredible growth in our state and will benefit our communities for decades to come.”

Companies across America are looking to do business in states that are positioned to deliver affordable, reliable and clean energy to help them meet emissions reduction goals. Located adjacent to both U.S. Steel’s Big River Steel facility and their recently announced $3 billion expansion, the solar project will help the steel company produce advanced sustainable steel products for their customers. Entergy Arkansas has a long-standing relationship with U.S. Steel, an important growth customer for the utility and the state.

“This project shows that strong partnerships bring strong results for customers, communities and the environment” added Daniel R. Brown, Senior Vice President, Advanced Technology Steelmaking and Chief Operating Officer for Big River Steel. “Once completed, the energy generated will be used throughout the facility, including the production of our verdeX steel, which is produced with fewer emissions and with up to 90 percent recycled material. U.S. Steel is pleased to collaborate with partners in Mississippi County to find sustainable solutions that are good for people and planet.”

Over the last four years, the Lightsource bp team has raised over $3.7 billion in financing for projects in ten states across the US with multiple world-class financing partners. Once constructed, ownership of the project will transfer to Entergy Arkansas under the build-transfer agreement.

Lightsource bp acquired the Driver Solar project in 2021, when it was under development from Acadian Renewable Energy, LLC, a joint venture among affiliates of SunChase Power and Eolian, who initiated the project’s development in 2016.

In addition to the local economic value that Driver Solar is bringing to Mississippi County through its benefits to the steel mill and its expansion, the solar project will:

Create approximately 400 construction jobs, utilising the local workforce and subcontractors

Provide an estimated $1.3 million dollar boost to Mississippi County in property taxes annually over the life of the project

Reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 380,000 metric tons every year, the equivalent of emissions from more than 82,000 fuel burning cars

Promote biological diversity and sustainability by hosting two Monarch butterfly habitat areas of more than 70 acres

Increase diversity in the local electrical grid which encourages grid resiliency

Construction has started with commercial operation expected by late 2024. Moss Construction was selected by Lightsource bp as their Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) Contractor for the project and will install more than 650,000 solar panels manufactured by Arizona based First Solar and smart solar trackers from New Mexico based Array Technologies.

For additional information:

Lightsource bp

U.S. Steel

Entergy Arkansas

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