Project Finance Brief: Soltage Raises $130 Million in Debt Financing for Solar Projects

Solaria receives $64 million from EIB and Natixis for the construction of solar projects in Spain

August 2, 2021


From: Mercom Capital Group

Soltage, an independent renewable power producer, raised a $130 million debt facility led by Silicon Valley Bank. The investment will finance a 110 MW national portfolio of projects across six states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Maine, Illinois, Virginia, and Maryland. Silicon Valley Bank is the Sole Coordinating Lead Arranger of the debt facility, with three other banks included as lenders. This facility includes an optional $100 million expansion feature to finance additional projects beyond the current set of identified projects.

Solaria Energía y Medio Ambiente (Solaria), a solar project developer, signed an agreement with The European Investment Bank (EIB) to raise finance for seven photovoltaic plants located in Castilla and León, Castilla-La Mancha, and Extremadura. The new installations will have a total capacity of 261.05 MW. To support the construction and commissioning of the plants, the European Union bank will provide Solaria with a total of up to €54 million (~$64 million) through a project finance arrangement. The EIB financing will be divided into two tranches: a senior project finance tranche of up to €51.7 million (~$61 million) and an EIB debt service reserve facility of up to €2.3 million (~$2.7 million). The EIB will provide additional private financing of up to €14 million (~$17 million) for the project through a bank-intermediated tranche, which is expected to be signed later. The remaining project finance amount was signed by Natixis, which will also act as an interest rate swap provider for all senior debt.

Solar photovoltaic modules maker Canadian Solar has raised BRL 500 million (~$100 million) financing facility with Brazilian banks BTG Pactual and Itaú BBA. The company will utilize the funds to develop and build solar projects in Brazil. The facility will fund up to 70% of Canadian Solar’s equity contributions of its Brazilian project portfolio. BTG Pactual and Itaú BBA are also the financial advisors to Canadian Solar’s Brazilian portfolio.

Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust, a closed-ended investment company, agreed to acquire a portfolio of solar photovoltaic sites in Ireland from Statkraft Ireland. The portfolio consists of five sites near Dublin, Ireland, that are expected to have an installed capacity of up to 250 MW. Total consideration for the acquisition is expected to be between around €138 million (~$164 million) and €145 million ($172 million) which will, apart from any deferred consideration in respect of the fifth site, be payable on completion. The company has secured a fully amortizing debt facility of up to €88 million (~104 million) from Allied Irish Banks and La Banque Postale to part-finance the acquisition of the operational sites.

R.Power, a Poland-based solar project developer, signed an agreement to receive PLN 242 million (~$63 million) financing from BNP Paribas Bank Polska and Santander Bank Polska to construct seven solar projects with a total capacity of 91 MW. Each bank owns 50% shares in the transaction. Both lenders acted as lead organizers, hedging transaction parties, and original lenders in the deal. Santander Bank Polska was the credit and escrow agent. In June, R.Power took part in the RES auctions in Poland and secured the rights to sell solar power from up to 299 MW of total capacity with 15-year contracts for difference. R.Powe is developing over 4 GW of solar projects in Poland.

Italian energy company Eni, through its subsidiary Eni Gas e Luce, has signed an agreement with Azora Capital to acquire a 1.2 GW renewable portfolio in Spain. The portfolio comprises three operational onshore wind farms, a 230 MW onshore wind farm under construction, and five large solar energy projects of around 1 GW in advanced stages of development. Under the agreement, the two companies will ensure that all the projects under development enter production by 2024. Either of the companies has not disclosed the financial details of the deal.

Buckeye Partners, a wholly-owned investment arm of the IFM Global Infrastructure Fund, acquired a 180 MW solar project in Hill County, Texas, from renewable energy developer, Belltown Power Texas. The project is located on 1,164 acres of land south of Dallas. Buckeye Partners intends to start project construction later this year to bring the development online by December 2022.

German renewables giant BayWa r.e. acquired 99.8 MW of solar projects from UK solar project developer JBM Solar. The acquisition consists of two consented sites, the first the Corner Copse project near Swindon and the second Scurf Dyke near Hull. Both are 49.9 MW sites that received planning permission in 2020 and are set to come on stream in 2023. They will utilize bifacial module technology and be co-located with onsite battery storage technology.

badenova subsidiary badenovaWÄRMEPLUS has acquired a 49% stake in two special purpose vehicles, and the Encavis Infrastructure Fund II (EIF II), a special fund managed by HANSAINVEST LUX, has acquired a 51% stake. The 45.5 MW solar projects have been built by Trianel Energieprojekte, and all projects have been connected to the power grid since June 15, 2021. Encavis will take over the management, the technical plant controlling, and the commercial management of the projects.

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

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