Mid-Wilshire-based 8minute Solar Energy on January 19th announced that it closed $400 million in financing from Washington, D.C.-based EIG Global Energy Partners, which specializes in investments in global energy and infrastructure.

The financing agreement includes an equity stake in 8minute Solar for EIG and a letter of credit from EIG. Blair Thomas, EIG’s chief executive and chairman, will join 8minute Solar’s board of directors. 8minute Solar’s current chief executive, Tom Buttgenbach, will retain his post.

Since its founding in July 2009, 8minute Solar — an independent developer of solar power generation and battery storage projects — has raised more than $1 billion, according to spokeswoman Katie Struble. The website Crunchbase states the company received $30 million in venture funding in 2014, $200 million in private equity financing in 2018, and $225 million in debt financing from a consortium of lenders in 2020.

8minute Solar said in its announcement that it plans to use EIG’s funds to grow its portfolio of clean energy projects. The company has completed construction of roughly 15 projects capable of generating up to 2 gigawatts of solar power and has a battery storage pilot project at its Springbok 3 solar power generation facility in Kern County. Its portfolio of projects at various stages of development includes more than 18 gigawatts of solar capacity and 24 gigawatt-hours of storage throughout California, Texas and the southwestern United States.

One gigawatt is, enough to provide power for between 500000 and 1 million single-family homes.
“This strategic fundraise is not only a resounding vote of confidence in 8minute from a global energy investor that shares our vision for a zero-carbon future but also an important signal that the private sector recognizes the immediate need for more reliable, resilient and low-cost climate solutions,” Buttgenbach said in the announcement.

“With EIG’s investment, we further solidify our role as a clean technology leader and become the leading technology provider of ‘smart’ solar power plants with integrated energy storage,” he added.
8minute Solar also said in the announcement that it will use some of the funds from EIG to make technological improvements to its solar plant design and look for ways to use its solar power to make hydrogen fuel.

The company also hopes to begin construction on projects in its pipeline, including the 400-megawatt Eland Solar & Storage Center in Kern County. That project is slated for completion late next year and has contracted to sell its electricity to power agencies in Los Angeles and Glendale.

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