SAN FRANCISCO – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Wells Fargo Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance (REEF) today announced that it recently exceeded $ 10 billion in tax fairness investments in the wind, solar and fuel cell industries. Wells Fargo has invested in more than 500 projects, helping to fund 12% of all wind and solar power capacity in the United States over the past 10 years.
“Wells Fargo is using its fiscal capacity significantly to invest in projects that help accelerate the country towards a low-carbon economy, ”said Philip Hopkins, head of Wells Fargo Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance, which is part of of Wells Fargo Commercial Capital. “We are proud to play a key role in the growth of this important industry and honored to work closely with so many leading sponsors and developers of wind and solar energy projects.
To stimulate the growth of renewable energy resources and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, the federal government offers project developers incentives such as production tax credits, production tax credits. investment and accelerated depreciation. However, since most developers do not have sufficient fiscal capacity, they rely on tax capital investors like Wells Fargo for funding.
Wells Fargo made its first tax fairness pledge in a wind project in 2006, and soon after began investing in distributed solar power, which produces electricity where it is used. Since then, the bank has grown into one of the leading fiscal capital investors in the country’s renewable energy sector, funding projects in 32 states. REEF-backed projects produced enough electricity in 2020 to power more than 3 million mid-size American homes for a year.
Wells Fargo provided approximately $ 2.4 billion in funding to the renewable energy industry in 2020, an increase of $ 1 billion from 2019. Projects include the 227 megawatt Muscle Shoals solar photovoltaic development Ørsted, which will be the largest in the state of Alabama when completed. During construction, Muscle Shoals employs 300 people, generating an estimated turnover of $ 1 million and using tax revenue for the community. In its first 20 years of operation, the project is expected to generate over $ 15 million in additional property taxes, much of which will be spent on education.
Ørsted acquired Muscle Shoals from Longroad Energy, which developed the project. “Longroad values its relationship with Wells Fargo and looks forward to the future of the partnership as we jointly advance the transition to clean and sustainable energy created in the United States, ”said Paul Gaynor, CEO of Longroad. “Wells Fargo’s REEF group is fair, innovative and knowledgeable, with a long history of investing in renewable energy, and they have gained a wealth of knowledge through these experiences.
Other notable investments from REEF include:
Commitment of $ 350 million in tax fairness to AES Clean Energy, one of the country’s leading renewable energy growth platforms that owns and operates more than 2.6 gigawatts of renewable power 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 represent the largest US solar project east of the Rocky Mountains.
Funding for the installation of solar carport systems at 25 sites in the Kern High School District in Bakersfield, California. The system generates enough electricity for 23 schools and two administrative buildings, and is expected to save the district $ 80 million in electricity costs over 25 years.
In 2018, Wells Fargo pledged to provide $ 200 billion in financing to sustainable businesses and projects by 2030, directing $ 100 billion to transactions that directly contribute to a low-carbon future.
“Renewable energy is an important factor in the fight against climate change, ”said Mary Wenzel, head of sustainability and corporate responsibility for Wells Fargo. “Our investments in tax fairness are critical to delivering on our commitment to be an industry leader by supporting new developments, working with utility and power customers, and achieving 100% renewable energy in our operations.
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