Wells Fargo Surpasses $10 Billion in Renewable Energy Tax-Equity Investments
Wells Fargo Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance (REEF) today announced it recently surpassed $10 billion in tax-equity investments in the wind, solar, and fuel cell industries. Wells Fargo has invested in more than 500 projects, helping to finance 12% of all wind and solar energy capacity in the U.S. over the past 10 years.
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Wells Fargo Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance team recently surpassed $10 billion in tax-equity investments in the wind, solar, and fuel cell sectors. (Photo: Wells Fargo)
“Wells Fargo uses its tax capacity in a meaningful way to invest in projects that contribute to the nation’s acceleration toward a low-carbon economy,” said Philip Hopkins, head of Wells Fargo Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance, a part 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 growth of renewable energy resources and accelerate the transition to a lower-carbon economy, the federal government provides project developers with incentives such as Production Tax Credits, Investment Tax Credits, and accelerated depreciation. However, because most developers lack sufficient tax capacity, they rely on tax-equity investors like Wells Fargo for funding.
Wells Fargo made its first tax-equity commitment to a wind project in 2006, and shortly thereafter began investing in distributed-generation solar, which generates electricity where it is used. Since then, the bank has grown into one of the leading tax-equity investors in the nation’s renewable energy sector, financing projects in 32 states. Projects supported by REEF produced enough electricity in 2020 to power more than 3 million average-sized U.S. homes for a year.
Wells Fargo provided approximately $2.4 billion in financing to the renewable energy industry in 2020, representing an increase of $1 billion from 2019. Projects include Ørsted’s 227-megawatt Muscle Shoals solar PV development, which will be the largest in the state of Alabama upon completion. During construction, Muscle Shoals is employing 300 people, generating an estimated $1 million in sales and use tax revenue for the community. In its first 20 years of operation, the project is expected to deliver more than $15 million in incremental property taxes, much of which will be directed to education.