CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT), cit.com, a leading provider of commercial lending and leasing services, today announced that its Energy Finance business served as sole lead arranger and administrative agent for a $59.8 million construction and tax equity bridge loan and back-levered term loan facility to GCL New Energy Inc., a U.S. solar development unit of GCL New Energy Holdings Ltd. The financing will support an 84.5 megawatt-dc portfolio of eight solar projects that are nearing completion of construction in Wilson County, North Carolina. Financing was provided by CIT Bank, the principal bank subsidiary of CIT. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The North Carolina solar farms, which cover approximately 430 acres of land, are fully contracted under 10-year PPAs to North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency. The projects, three of which are expected to be producing solar power for the city of Wilson by March 31, will sell electricity at fixed rates. The projects represent the first of several U.S. solar investments recently made by the China-based company.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with CIT,” said Dr. Peng Fang, president & CEO, GCL New Energy, Inc. “With our continued commitment to bring green power to life and this provision of new capital, we stand ready to invest in the solar business and create more job opportunities in the U.S.”
“The projects will provide clean and cost-efficient green energy to Wilson County residents and businesses,” said Jimmy Chuang, chief structured finance officer of GCL New Energy, Inc. “We are very excited to expand our energy portfolio in the U.S. and North Carolina and are glad to have partnered on this project with CIT which provided unique back-leverage solutions to this complex lease financing structure. “
Mike Lorusso, managing director, CIT’s Energy Financing business, said, “GCL’s construction of these eight projects represents a major investment in clean, renewable energy for North Carolina. We are pleased to offer innovative financing solutions to support GCL’s growing presence in the U.S. renewables sector. CIT continues to be a leader in sourcing and providing capital to this growing industry, and we’re pleased to lead this transaction for GCL.”