Project Finance Brief: Nautilus Solar Acquires Distributed Generation Projects

OYA Solar closes development capital facility with Greenbacker to support community solar projects

February 1, 2021


From: Mercom Capital Group

Nautilus Solar Energy, a solar project developer, has acquired three distributed generation solar projects in Maine totaling 19.2 MW from Walden Renewables Development. The projects located in the towns of Wells and Fryeburg and the City of Sanford were developed by Walden. Each project is approximately 6.4 MW.

Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust, a closed-end investment company, has refinanced its portfolio of operational solar PV assets totaling 119.5 MW in France, which was acquired in July 2020. The new €125.7 million (~$152.2 million) fully amortizing debt facility, provided by Allied Irish Banks, Societe Generale, and La Banque Postale extends the maturity date of the financing over five years to December 2038 and significantly reduces ongoing interest costs. The facility has a margin of 1.25% above EURIBOR, which has been fixed at minus 0.12% for 85% of the facility value, leading to an all-in rate of 1.13%.

PNE U.S., a subsidiary of PNE, a publicly-traded renewable energy company based in Germany, has announced it has acquired four solar projects, totaling 280 MW. The projects, located in the MISO, PJM, and WECC markets, add to PNE USA’s growing pipeline of onshore wind, solar, and battery storage projects under development.

Through its Energy Storage Fund, SUSI Partners has acquired three lithium-ion battery storage assets from Eelpower, an owner-operator of sustainable power infrastructure in the U.K. The transaction includes two operational assets with a combined capacity of 30 MW and one ready-to-build 10 MW asset. As part of a broader partnership with Eelpower, SUSI Partners, through its Energy Storage Fund, has also acquired a 50 MW project in Scotland from Gigabox Developments, with construction scheduled to begin in Q1 2021.

OYA Solar, a solar developer and asset owner has secured financing that will support the development and construction of approximately 350-400 MW of community solar projects across New York State. The development capital financing transaction was closed with a private equity and credit fund affiliated with Greenbacker Capital Management, with NY Green Bank, a division of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), participating.

Hamburg-based solar and wind project operator Blue Elephant Energy has completed the acquisition of four ready-to-build PV projects in the Netherlands with a total capacity of 47 MW. The acquired portfolio consists of four solar PV projects located in the southeast and east of the Netherlands. Construction work will begin in the first half of 2021. The grid connection and the start of commercial operations are planned for the end of 2021. LC Energy will support BEE throughout the construction process and use its expertise in grid connection, permits, and land management to support the projects’ long-term success.

Lightsource bp, a solar project developer, has closed on a $380 million financing package and mobilized construction on its Elm Branch and Briar Creek solar projects in Texas. Tax equity financing for the projects was secured from Bank of America. The debt for the facilities was provided by mandated lead arrangers ING Capital and Societe Generale. The balance of the equity requirements will be invested by Lightsource bp. CohnReznick Capital was engaged as the tax equity advisor for the transaction.

First Solar, a U.S.-based solar panels manufacturer, has signed an agreement with Leeward Renewable Energy to sell its utility-scale solar project platform of around 10 GWac. The transaction will be completed in the first quarter of 2021. The platform’s acquisition includes projects with module purchase orders for around 1.8 GWdc of solar modules, of which 744 MWdc of orders represent new bookings as of closing.

Wind and solar project operator Encavis is acquiring further minority shares (19.99%) of the Budel solar project near the city of Eindhoven in the province of North Brabant in the Netherlands. In total, almost 99% of the solar park portfolio of around 106 MW in the Netherlands is now owned by the group.

For reports and trackers on funding and M&A transactions in solar, energy storage, smart grid, and efficiency sectors, click here.

Read last week’s project finance brief.

Image credit: LONGi Solar


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