Ampère Equity Fund acquires majority stake in a second Italian solar PV portfolio developed by Winch Energy
16-02-2011 | Zeist
Ampère Equity Fund, managed by Triodos Investment Management, acquired a majority stake in a 9.4 MW portfolio of ground mounted solar PV projects developed by Winch Energy in the Region of Puglia, Italy. Winch Energy will retain the balance of the equity. The projects are to be constructed during the first two quarters of 2011 with equity and mezzanine funding from Ampère Equity Fund. Banco di Napoli SpA and Mediocredito Italiano SpA are expected to arrange and provide long term senior debt.
The projects comprise a total of 45 hectares of land in the high radiation Region of Puglia and will produce enough electricity to power approximately 4,000 households and avoid 8,500 tonnes of C02 per year.
In developing these projects, Winch Energy has partnered with Solar Integrated Technologies GMBH, a wholly owned EPC subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENER). The projects will be built by Solar Integrated with polycrystalline modules and are expected to be connected to the grid by August 2011. This will enable the project to benefit from the attractive 20 year Italian feed in tariff. This is the second phase in a portfolio of projects incorporating flexible, light weight UNI-SOLAR brand PV laminates and polycrystalline modules.
Both Ampère Equity Fund and Winch Energy are very pleased to have reached this new milestone in their existing partnership, with a total of 20 projects now funded and under construction, representing some 19 MW:
Joris van der Geest, Triodos Investment Management, Chief Investment Officer of Ampère Equity Fund said: “Having successfully funded the construction of our first portfolio of projects with Winch Energy in November 2010 and with the construction of that portfolio now well underway, we are happy to expand our partnership with Winch Energy. We expect to make further investments together this year. Based on its local experience and know how, Winch Energy has been able to develop a strong portfolio of quality projects in an attractive region. We have invested in this portfolio with the intention to provide long term, stable returns to our investors.”
Nicholas Wrigley, Chairman and Founder of the Winch Energy Group said: “The funding of our second major portfolio with Ampère Equity Fund represents an important step for Winch in consolidating both its relationship with Ampère Equity Fund and establishing the Winch Group as an important player in the Italian PV market. The construction of our first portfolio with Ampère Equity Fund is now well under way and on track for completion by April 2011. I am also confident that we will significantly increase the number of projects under co ownership with Ampère Equity Fund during 2011.”
Ampère Equity Fund
Ampère Equity Fund, managed by Triodos Investment Management, invests in renewable energy projects in Western Europe, with amounts in the range of EUR 10-50 million equity per investment. The fund focuses on investments in energy producing assets applying proven technology, such as onshore wind, offshore wind, solar PV, concentrated solar power and biomass power plants, providing stable and predictable long term returns for its investors. The Fund has attracted major Dutch institutional investors with a total committed capital of EUR 320 million. Triodos Investment Management is a subsidiary of Triodos Bank with over 25 years of experience in renewable energy investments.
Winch Energy Group
The Winch Energy Group is a privately owned group of companies which develops solar PV projects in key Mediterranean countries, including France, Italy, the United Kingdom, India and North Africa. Winch’s strategy is to develop green field projects and acquire third party near-term projects, procure the funding for the construction of such projects and to manage such projects once in operation, whilst maintaining a long term ownership interest. The Group currently has over 250 MW of projects under development and its operations, which are managed by Winch Energy Engineering, the Group’s engineering subsidiary, includes all phases of the development cycle: project feasibility, engineering review and studies, project development and permitting, acquisition of near term projects ready for construction and the construction and the operational management of projects. The Winch Energy Group’s medium term strategy is to become a significant owner and operator of solar PV projects.
Energy Conversion Devices/United Solar/Solar Integrated Technologies
Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) (NASDAQ: ENER) is a leader in building-integrated and rooftop photovoltaics. The company manufactures, sells and installs thin-film solar laminates that convert sunlight to energy using proprietary technology. ECD’s UNI-SOLAR® brand products are unique because of their flexibility, light weight, ease of installation, durability and real-world efficiency. Through its Solar Integrated Technologies business, the company also designs, manufactures and installs rooftop photovoltaic systems which enable customers to transform unused space on the rooftop into a value-generating asset. In addition, ECD's Ovonic Materials Division is the pioneer in NiMH battery technology and is developing low cost fuel cells, hydrogen production from bioreformation and hydrogen storage technologies.
- Watson, Farley & Williams LLP provided legal and tax advice to Winch Energy
- Winch Engineering provided technical and engineering advice to Winch Energy
- Norton Rose LLP provided legal and tax advice to Ampère Equity Fund
- Fichtner GmbH & Co KG provided technical advice to Ampère Equity Fund
- Evergy Engineering provided technical advice to Ampère Equity Fund
- Operis provided financial modeling advice and audit services to all parties
- AON provided insurance advice to all parties and arranged insurances
- Proaxxes provided market advice to Ampère Equity Fund