CONNOR, CLARK & LUNN AND CARBONFREE Close Debt Financing for SOLAR Portfolio
Toronto, Canada, May 5th, 2015
Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure, CarbonFree Technology and the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) are pleased to announce the closing of long-term debt financing for their jointly owned portfolio of commercial-scale solar projects. The portfolio, comprised of 58 rooftop and 5 ground-mount projects located across Ontario, ranks among the largest such portfolios in Canada. The projects in the portfolio have a generating capacity of more than 18 MW DC and represent approximately $85 million of capital cost.
A number of the projects in the portfolio are owned by BrightRoof Solar LP, a partnership formed by Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure and CarbonFree in 2010 to finance, develop, build and operate commercial-scale solar systems. The remainder are owned by Métis Nation of Ontario – BrightRoof Solar LP, a second partnership created by CC&L, CarbonFree and the MNO with similar objectives.
“The closing of this debt financing is the culmination of a multi-year commitment by us and our partners to the development of this diverse portfolio. We’d like to express our gratitude to our partners at CarbonFree and MNO for their leading role in the development and construction of this attractive base of assets,” said Matt O’Brien, President of Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure. “This investment is an excellent addition to our growing portfolio of high quality, long-duration infrastructure assets and reinforces our position as one of the largest owners of solar assets in Canada.”
The proceeds of the non-recourse financing will be mainly used to fund construction costs for projects in the portfolio. The projects range in size from 93 kW to 600 kW DC and are located across Ontario, with the majority in the Toronto to London corridor. The electricity generated from the projects will be sold to Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator under 20-year Feed-In Tariff (FIT) contracts.
The debt financing is structured as an 18-year floating-rate term loan and an associated fixed rate swap, secured by the cash flows and assets in the portfolio. “The fact that blue-chip lenders are now comfortable with the long-term forecast performance of solar power projects is an important step in the development of solar power industry,” said David Oxtoby, CEO of CarbonFree Technology. “It validates our strategy in developing these high-quality solar assets.”
“This financing is another step on the path leading toward the Métis Nation’s long-term goal of being able to generate enough green energy to meet the needs of every Métis household in the province,” said MNO President Gary Lipinski. “We are pleased to have achieved the next milestone in the development of this portfolio of assets as we create training opportunities, jobs and wealth for Métis communities in the province.”
About Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure
Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure invests in middle-market infrastructure and infrastructure-like assets with highly attractive risk-return characteristics, long lives and the potential to generate stable cash flow. Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure is part of Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group Ltd., a multi-boutique asset management firm whose affiliates collectively manage approximately [$60] billion in assets. For more information, please visit www.cclinfrastructure.com.
About CarbonFree Technology
CarbonFree Technology is a leading solar project developer and operator, based in Toronto, Canada. CarbonFree works with major institutional investors to develop commercial and utility-scale solar projects in Canada and the United States. Over the past nine years, the company has developed or financed more than 80 solar power projects across North America with a total nameplate capacity of more than 300 MW DC.
About the Métis Nation of Ontario
The Métis Nation of Ontario (“MNO”) is the recognized governance structure of Métis citizens and communities throughout Ontario. Since its creation in 1993, the MNO has worked to advance the collective rights and interests of Ontario Métis as well as improve the quality of life of Métis children, families and communities. In support of these goals, the MNO delivers a range of programs and services to its citizens through a province-wide delivery network that includes 21 offices and over 160 staff throughout Ontario. For more information, please visit www.metisnation.org.