Utility-Scale Solar Projects in United Kingdom ( Solar Thermal Magazine) – LONDON, Feb, 2014 — SunEdison (NYSE:SUNE), a leading solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar energy service announced the closing of a non-recourse debt financing arrangement with Deutsche Bank. The debt proceeds will be used to finance the construction of 56 megawatt (MW) portfolio of four utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar projects in the United Kingdom.
The portfolio is expected to be fully operational by the end of March 2014. This portfolio marks SunEdison’s entry into the rapidly growing UK solar market.
“We are delighted to be involved in this exciting project by providing the financing to our client,” said Michael Volkermann, Co-Head of Infrastructure & Energy from Deutsche Bank. “This transaction is evidence of Deutsche’s expertise in supporting companies in the renewable energy sector by providing extensive advisory and financial services.”
SunEdison also announced today that through a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA), Foresight Solar Fund Limited (LSE:FSFL), a £150 million investment company listed on the London Stock Exchange and managed by Foresight Group, will acquire the entire portfolio of projects once interconnected. The projects, which are currently under construction, are located in Swindon, Wiltshire, North Devon and on the Essex/Suffolk border. The Fund commitment to acquire these assets was confirmed in the IPO Prospectus issued by Foresight Group in September 2013 and will be completed utilising the Fund’s IPO proceeds.
“We are entering the UK solar market with a project portfolio while expanding our relationship with Deutsche Bank, this demonstrates our ability to utilize existing relationships to enter new markets and facilitate the expansion of our utility business without impacting our balance sheet,” said Jose Perez, SunEdison’s President of EMEA and Latin America. “We view the United Kingdom as a high-growth market for solar and for our company, we are looking forward to supporting economic growth for the United Kingdom through solar projects that create jobs and support the local economy while delivering predictably priced energy.”
The energy produced from the projects will be purchased from SunEdison by SmartestEnergy, a market leading purchaser of independently generated electricity in the UK, through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The PPA will provide SmartestEnergy reliable, predictably priced energy for years to come, insulating them from pricing volatility that is common in energy markets.
The United Kingdom has declared its intention to deploy over 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy by 2020. Greg Barker, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, was quoted during the Doing Solar Business in the UK event held last June as saying, “Great Britain is the most exciting growth market for solar in Europe.” Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to run the “greenest government ever” and to make the UK a “showcase for green innovation and energy efficiency.”
Perez further remarked, “We commend the leadership of the United Kingdom for demonstrating its commitment to build a world-class renewable energy industry through a mix of programs such as the Renewables Obligation which provides support for medium to large scale solar, a reformed Feed in Tarrif System that helps small businesses and households save using solar and a Renewables Roadmap that makes solar a Priority Industry.”
Once operational, the solar power plants will be managed by the SunEdison Renewable Operation Center (ROC), which provides global 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services. Data collected from the ROC is used to continuously improve the company’s products, project designs and service offerings.