PASH, Oriental close on $15M financing for solar energy project at Puma gas stations
PASH Global (PASH) and Oriental Bank in Puerto Rico have closed on a $15 million financing for a joint venture between PASH and PUMA Energy that will enable 200 PUMA gas stations in Puerto Rico to produce and consume solar energy.
This project is the first of its kind and scale on the island, the companies said.
The PASH-PUMA project will benefit from the Puerto Rico Green Energy Incentives Act (Act 83) and will require a $26 million investment to install 20,500 photovoltaic solar panels on the rooftops of the selected gas stations.
“Reaching this milestone with Oriental has been a culmination of 18 months of close dialogue and a mutual desire to play a long-term role in Puerto Rico’s energy transition,” said PASH CEO Kofi Owusu-Bempah.
“The inherently complex nature of this project meant that we needed to select a financing partner who understood the intricacies of project development, as well as the built-to-suit nature of each of the 200 installations,” he said.
PASH — an impact investor and developer of clean power projects worldwide — will provide $11 million in necessary equity and Oriental will finance the balance. The project will have an estimated capacity of 18.3 MW and will generate an estimated 28,500 MWh of electricity per annum.
“Oriental was willing to be part of our journey to develop renewables in Puerto Rico. PASH is well positioned to be in Puerto Rico for the long-term,” Owusu-Bempah said.
Meanwhile, Oriental CEO José Rafael Fernández, said “This project honors our commitment to promote energy diversification and sustainability on the island.”
“It highlights our policy to finance and invest in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts. In addition, it will save an estimated 26,700 tons of carbon dioxide per annum as well as reduce costs for the gas station operators,” he said.
The long-term financing will allow PUMA gas stations to generate and consume a significant proportion of their own energy, said Patrick Haggarty, executive vice president for Commercial Banking and Trust at Oriental.
This is significant considering that only slightly over 2% of the energy generated on the island is renewable, he said.
The PASH-PUMA joint venture has already launched two local pilot projects at PUMA stations in Guaynabo and Caguas, which are already operational and generate around 285 MWh of electricity for their owner consumption.
“Achieving this milestone was possible through the effective collaboration and existing connectivity that Oriental already has with the project stakeholders and advisors,” said Jeffrey Blege, project director of PASH.
“This spans the legal, technical and insurance space, as well as our joint venture partner, PUMA. Our ambition is to be an important participant in the Puerto Rico renewable energy landscape. We look forward to the prospect of working with Oriental on future projects,” Blege said.