Project Finance Brief: Acciona Energia Acquires the 350 MW Red-Tailed Hawk Solar Project

Berenberg Bank provides financing for the acquisition of 128 MW solar projects in Chile and Italy

February 14, 2022


From: Mercom Capital Group

Acciona Energia, a subsidiary of Acciona, a Spanish company developing renewable energy projects, has acquired Red-Tailed Hawk, a 350 MW solar PV project near Houston in Wharton County, Texas, from Avondale Solar and Solar Plus Development. AP Solar Holdings, a full-service, utility-scale solar power project developer and Avondale Solar and Solar Plus Development affiliate, developed the project. The project’s construction phase will start in the third quarter of 2022 and will have an estimated investment of $460 million.

German bank Berenberg has provided finance for the acquisition and construction of a 41 MW Italian solar project and the acquisition of an 87 MW solar PV project in Chile by CCE Holding. Both transactions will be financed by the Berenberg Green Energy Junior Debt Funds II and III together with CCE Holding and its investor Arzteversorgung Thuringen. Berenberg acts as an investment advisor to the fund. The operational La Huella solar project is in the Atacama Desert in Chile and has a capacity of 87 MW. The project was developed and constructed by the shareholders of CCE Holding. Montalto di Castro, the construction-ready 41 MW solar project, is in the Lazio region of Italy. Construction of the project, divided into two sub-parks, is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2022 and will be completed by mid-2023.

Greenbacker Renewable Energy, an owner, and operator of sustainable infrastructure and energy efficiency projects, announced that, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, has acquired a 20 MW pre-operational solar portfolio from TUUSSO Energy, a Seattle-based utility-scale solar developer. The portfolio’s three 6.7 MW projects are Greenbacker’s first assets in Washington. Located in Kittitas County, the Camas, Penstemon, and Urtica projects are all expected to reach commercial operation in 2022. Each has long-term power purchase agreements in place with the same investment-grade utility offtaker.

Standard Solar, a solar energy company specializing in developing and financing solar electric systems nationwide, has acquired a 6.97 MW community solar project in Trenton, Maine. This acquisition adds to the company’s existing 50 MW portfolios in Maine, further strengthening Standard Solar’s leadership in the state. The project is a part of the state’s Net Energy Billing (NEB), which will bring a 15-25% energy savings to nine major Maine businesses who have subscribed, sharing the benefits without having to connect to it or invest in its development. NEB, overseen by the Maine Public Utilities Commission, enables businesses and municipalities to receive financial benefits from clean energy produced by a local solar array.

Axium Infrastructure, an investment company, announced the financial close for the acquisition of a diversified portfolio of 1,415 MW, comprising 24 wind assets and four solar projects representing an equity interest of 49% in Constellation Renewables Partners. Axium acquires a stake from Manulife Investment Management, a trading name acting on behalf of John Hancock Infrastructure Fund and its affiliates, while Constellation Energy retains a stake of 51%. Scotiabank and King & Spalding acted as exclusive financial and legal counsel to Axium, respectively, in connection with this transaction.

Mytilineos, through its Renewables and Storage Development Business Unit, agreed to sell a 100 MW solar portfolio in the South of Spain to Aquila Capital, a sustainable investment and asset development company. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. The solar projects, Jaen and Guillena, each with 50 MW capacity, are in Andalucia and are currently under construction by the RSD Business Unit. Upon completion, projects will produce approximately 200 GWh of clean energy per year.

MPC Energy Solutions, a provider of sustainable energy, primarily focusing on low-carbon energy infrastructure, including solar and wind assets, acquired a 15.8 MW Los Santos Solar I project in Ahumada Chihuahua, in the North of Mexico. The project has been fully operational since 2017. The project has a USD-denominated power purchase agreement with Leoni Cable, a German cable manufacturer, and the International De La Salle Educational Network. The US Government’s Development Finance Corporation and the North American Development Bank provided a 20-year project funding.

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group, has provided a $35 million loan over a 15-year term to the 40 MW Kesses solar project to be built near Eldoret in the Rift Valley region of Kenya. The project will cost a total of $87 million. The first part of the loan was disbursed to Alten Kenya Solarfarms, the Kenyan business of the Alten Group. Standard Bank, which is also a lender to EAIF, was the mandated lead arranger of the project finance to Alten. Standard Bank is supplying $41 million in debt comprising a term loan, VAT, and Debt Service Reserve facility.

Greencells, a developer and EPC service provider for utility-scale solar projects, has acquired five solar PV projects under development in the south of Sardinia with a total capacity of 233 MW, bringing the secured development as well as EPC and O&M portfolio in Italy to a total of 876 MW. Ready-to-build status with accompanying building permits is expected to be achieved in the first half of 2023. The five new projects are part of a cluster comprising a total of up to 15 projects with a combined capacity of up to 790 MW, which will also be acquired by Greencells to the additional extent of up to 557 MW, subject to thorough due diligence

Sonnedix, an independent solar power producer, has completed the acquisition of the 9 MW Corso Sola solar PV project from Distributed Power Partners in Chile. The project is located near Copiapo, in the Atacama region. The project is in a well-advanced stage of development, with construction works expected to start in the second quarter of 2022. The project is applying to Chile’s special regime for distributed generation projects. Sonnedix was advised by Morales & Besa (legal) and Anabatica (technical) on this transaction. DPP was advised by Carey (legal).

Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company, an owner and operator of sustainable infrastructure and energy efficiency projects, announced that, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, it has purchased a 16.3 MW operational solar portfolio from ECA Solar, a solar project developer, and Alliance Fund II, a sustainable infrastructure fund sponsored by North Sky Capital and sub-advised by GoldenSet Capital Partners. All 16 projects utilize building rooftop space that would otherwise be left idle. Located in Massachusetts, the portfolio includes 16 rooftop solar projects that benefit from supportive state renewable energy policies, allowing it to provide cheaper clean power to the Greater Boston area.

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