The Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance Group financed more than 500 projects in 32 states
Wells Fargo Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance (REEF) announced today that tax-sharing investments in the wind, solar and fuel cell industries recently exceeded $ 10 billion. Wells Fargo has invested in more than 500 projects and has funded 12% of all wind and solar capacity in the US over the past 10 years.
“Wells Fargo is making good use of its tax capacity to invest in projects that will help accelerate the country toward a low-carbon economy,” said Philip Hopkins, director of Wells Fargo Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance, part of Wells Fargo Commercial Capital . “We are proud to play a key role in growing this important industry and are honored to work closely with so many leading sponsors and developers of wind and solar energy projects.”
To encourage the growth of renewable energy sources and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, the federal government is offering incentives to project developers such as production tax credits, investment tax credits, and accelerated depreciation. However, because most developers don’t have sufficient tax capacity, they rely on tax-equity investors like Wells Fargo for funding.
Wells Fargo made its first tax liability on a wind project in 2006 and shortly thereafter began investing in decentralized solar energy that generates electricity where it is used. Since then, the bank has become one of the country’s leading tax participation investors in the field of renewable energies and finances projects in 32 countries. Projects supported by REEF produced enough electricity in 2020 to power more than 3 million average sized US households for one year.
Wells Fargo provided approximately $ 2.4 billion to the renewable energy industry in 2020, up $ 1 billion from 2019. Projects include Ørsted’s 227 megawatt solar PV development, which when completed will be the largest in the state of Alabama. During construction, Muscle Shoals employs 300 people, has estimated sales of $ 1 million, and uses tax revenue for the community. Over the first 20 years of operation, the project is expected to deliver more than $ 15 million in additional property taxes, much of which is for education.
Ørsted acquired Muscle Shoals from Longroad Energy, who developed the project. “Longroad values its relationship with Wells Fargo and looks forward to the future of the partnership as we work together to drive the clean, sustainable energy transition in the US,” said Paul Gaynor, Longroad CEO. “Wells Fargo’s REEF Group is fair, innovative and knowledgeable. They have a long history of investing in renewable energy and have gained a wealth of knowledge from that experience.”
Other notable REEF investments include:
Provided $ 350 million in tax credits for AES Clean Energy, one of the top renewable energy growth platforms in the country, which owns and operates more than 2.6 gigawatts of renewable energy generation in the United States. This funding will support the construction and development of the Spotsylvania Solar Energy Center in Virginia, which when completed will be the largest US solar project east of the Rocky Mountains
Financed the installation of carport solar systems at 25 locations in the Kern High School District in Bakersfield, California. The system generates enough electricity for 23 schools and two administration buildings and is expected to save the district $ 80 million in electricity costs over a period of 25 years
In 2018, Wells Fargo pledged to allocate $ 200 billion to sustainable businesses and projects by 2030, with $ 100 billion earmarked for transactions that directly help advance a low-carbon future.
“Renewable energies are an important part of fighting climate change,” said Mary Wenzel, Wells Fargo’s director of sustainability and corporate responsibility. “Our tax-sharing investments are essential to fulfilling our commitment as industry leaders by supporting new developments, working with utility and electricity customers, and achieving 100% renewable energy in our operations.”
About Wells Fargo
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