CleanCapital secures $71.4 million tax equity and debt financing for Howard County, Maryland solar portfolio

NEW YORK—February 17, 2022—CleanCapital announced today that it has closed simultaneously on a debt financing with CIT, a division of First Citizens Bank, and a tax equity transaction with Nelnet, Inc. (NYSE: NNI), both relating to a portfolio of new construction solar assets in Maryland. CIT’s Power and Energy business served as coordinating lead arranger on the $71.4 million debt financing; Nelnet Inc. served as the coordinating lead tax equity investor.

The financing relates to a set of projects supplying clean solar electricity to the buildings and facilities owned by Howard County, Maryland. CI Renewables developed this portfolio and is supervising construction of the assets through commercial operations. Ten projects totaling 25 megawatts were announced in June 2021, allowing Howard County to undertake the largest power purchase agreement in the state of Maryland. Construction on those projects will be completed in phases beginning this month and continuing through 2023. The dual influx of tax equity investment and debt will fund construction and enhance investor returns on this attractive set of solar assets in CleanCapital’s diverse portfolio. 

“This dual closing demonstrates the breadth of CleanCapital’s financing capabilities,” said Melinda Baglio, Chief Investment Officer and General Counsel at CleanCapital. “Our ability to deliver the full capital stack gives developers of middle market solar projects across the country confidence that we can finance the construction of their projects efficiently.”

“We are pleased to work again with CleanCapital, an industry leader in solar and energy storage,” said Mike Lorusso, managing director and group head for CIT’s Power and Energy business. “This transaction is another example of our market-leading position in arranging financing for renewable power assets.”

Alyssa Martin, Legal Counsel of Renewable Energy at Nelnet, said, “We are excited to partner with CleanCapital, a company that has accelerated the flow of capital to the renewable energy market, to bring more distributed solar energy online and advance the transition to a net-zero energy future.”

Investment Bank Javelin Capital acted as advisor to CleanCapital on the transaction.

About CleanCapital

CleanCapital is an industry-leading clean energy investment platform. Since 2015, CleanCapital has worked to accelerate investment in distributed solar and storage assets to address the urgent threat of climate change. Its leading-edge technology platform facilitates the evaluation and acquisition of clean energy assets with speed and certainty. More information about CleanCapital can be found at cleancapital.com


About CIT

CIT is a division of First Citizens Bank, the largest family-controlled bank in the United States, continuing a unique legacy of strength, stability and long-term thinking that has spanned generations. Parent company, First Citizens BancShares, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCNCA) is a top 20 U.S. financial institution with more than $100 billion in assets. The company’s commercial banking segment brings a wide array of best-in-class lending, leasing and banking services to middle-market companies and small businesses from coast to coast. First Citizens also operates a nationwide direct bank and a network of more than 600 branches in 22 states, many in high-growth markets. Industry specialists bring a depth of expertise that helps businesses and individuals meet their specific goals at every stage of their financial journey. Discover more at cit.com/firstcitizens.


About Nelnet

Nelnet (NYSE: NNI) is a publicly-traded diversified financial services and technology company focused on offering educational services, technology solutions, professional services, telecommunications and asset management. Nelnet has nearly $18 billion in assets and services over $530 billion in loan assets. Nelnet Renewable Energy Services is the company’s renewable energy investment, management and development business. Nelnet Renewable Energy Services is an experienced tax equity investor and fund manager in distributed generation solar projects. Between Nelnet’s capital and capital from its co-investors, the collaborative platform has funded $228 million of equity, supporting the construction and operation of 317 megawatts, totaling a value of $850 million of projects in solar energy. This renewable energy experience, coupled with Nelnet ‘s proven asset management capabilities from its $530 billion loan servicing portfolio and its alignment of interest as an investor alongside its partners, allows Nelnet to offer a unique co-investment platform to accredited investors based on shared value creation and positive environmental and social impact. For more information, visit NelnetInc.com/co-investing

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MEDIA RELATIONS:

Ellen Backus
For CleanCapital PR
612-616-2991
ellen@cleanterrateam.com

John M. Moran
For CIT
212-461-5507
john.moran@cit.com

Scot Bearss
For Nelnet Inc.
714-421-1287
scot.bearss@nelnet.net