Daily News: September 18, 2013

CIT Arranges $100MM Renewable Energy Land Lease Financing

CIT said it arranged a $100 million senior secured credit facility for AWCC Holdings, a subsidiary of American Wind Capital, to acquire a portfolio of land leases and lease royalties from solar projects from Hawaii to New York.

CIT Corporate Finance, Energy served as lead arranger in the transaction and financing was provided by CIT Bank. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“This unique financing will allow AWCC to further grow its portfolio of land leases and lease royalties throughout the United States,” said Mike Lorusso, managing director and group head of CIT Energy. “This transaction allowed us to showcase our range of creativity and capabilities in the renewable energy sector in structuring a deal that benefited all parties.”

American Wind Capital’s CEO Chuck Hinckley said, “CIT and AWCC have structured an innovative and first of its kind financing for both our existing portfolio as well as a flexible facility that will allow us to expand our business. We acquire and lease the real estate underlying utility scale solar power projects, allowing project sponsors to optimize their capital structures. To date, we have acquired over 8,000 acres under 540MW of operating solar projects. Given the robust pipeline of solar projects in development across the U.S., we see tremendous growth potential in this business segment. In our traditional business of monetizing wind power project rents for landowners, we provide landowners that host windpower projects with an important source of liquidity that allows them to retain ownership of their land. We expect CIT to be an outstanding partner as we expand our portfolio in both of these business segments.”