Wells Fargo Completes $49MM Tax-Equity Funding of MS Solar Project



Wells Fargo Renewable Energy and Environmental Finance completed $49 million in tax-equity funding for the new 540-acre solar generation facility known as MS Solar 3 in Sumrall, MS. One of the Southeast’s biggest solar projects, it will generate enough clean energy to power more than 11,400 homes.

Global Atlantic Financial Group provided the balance of the project’s capital. Origis Energy — a Miami-based global company that delivers custom clean energy solutions for utility, commercial and public sector clients — developed and built MS Solar 3 and also operates and manages the facility.

MS Solar 3, which began commercial operation last December, will produce and transmit 52 MWAC of low-cost, renewable electricity to be purchased by Cooperative Energy, a not-for-profit energy provider that generates and transmits electricity for 11-member distribution systems in Southern and Western Mississippi.

“The MS Solar 3 facility is a continuation of Wells Fargo’s commitment to the U.S. solar market as we work to support the advancement of clean energy in this country,” said Barry Neal, co-head of Wells Fargo Renewable Energy and Environmental Finance. “We’re especially pleased to begin our relationship with Origis with such a significant project.”

“Wells Fargo has a strong heritage of support and innovation related to solar and renewable energy in the U.S.,” said Samir Verstyn, chief investment officer of Origis Energy. “Our team is pleased to work with them on this milestone solar project in the Southeast for Cooperative Energy.”

In connection with MS Solar 3, Cooperative Energy and Origis Energy created the MS Solar 3 Philanthropic Initiative in 2017, donating $125,000 to the Mississippi Scholars and Tech Master programs – their largest single gift to date. The Sumrall solar project also led to a $25,000 donation to the Lamar County (Mississippi) Education Foundation in support of Lamar County School District students.

For the past 13 years, Wells Fargo has been a significant contributor to the advancement of clean energy in the U.S., with its tax equity investments energizing U.S. wind and solar development. In fact, the bank has already funded or committed to fund more than $6 billion in wind and solar projects throughout the U.S. And since 2012, Wells Fargo has invested and financed more than $70 billion in renewable energy, clean technology, “greener” buildings, sustainable agriculture, and other environmentally sustainable businesses. In 2017 alone:

  • Projects owned in whole or in part by Wells Fargo in 33 states and Puerto Rico produced more than 8 percent of all U.S. solar photovoltaic and wind energy.
  • Wells Fargo donated $22.5 million to support nonprofits, universities, and community organizations focused on environmental sustainability and education, development and commercialization of clean technologies, and strengthening community resiliency. The company’s goal is to provide $65 million to such organizations between 2016 and 2020.
  • Wells Fargo began a $20-million expansion of its Innovation Incubator (IN2), which advances emerging clean technologies and startups. A $30-million program co-administered by Wells Fargo and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, IN2 expanded its focus to include transportation, micro-grid solutions, and sustainable agriculture. IN2 has implemented a Channel Partner Award program that has funded 20 early-stage startups nationwide.

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