Financing a transition to a renewable society.
Ampere Equity Fund and Solairedirect close 115 million Euros debt financing for 34 MWp solar pv portfolio in France
19-01-2012 | Ampere Equity Fund, managed by Triodos Investment Management, and Solairedirect announce the financial close of the senior debt project financing of a 34 MWp solar PV portfolio. The portfolio consists of three ground mounted solar photovoltaic projects developed by Solairedirect in the regions of Auvergne and PACA, in France. Two projects have been completed in December 2011 and the completion of the third one is anticipated by the end of January 2012. All of them will benefit from the 20 years feed-in tariff.
Ampere Equity Fund and Solairedirect have funded the construction of the projects through a single holding company. At financial close, the equity bridge is refinanced by a EUR 115 million senior secured debt facility provided by Natixis, Rabobank and Siemens Bank.
This represents one of the most significant financing secured in the PV segment in Europe and is emblematic of the trust and professionalism conveyed by both Ampere Equity Fund and Solairedirect via-à-vis major European financial institutions despite the overall downturn financial sector in Europe.
The projects comprise a total of about 80 hectares of land in the regions of Auvergne and PACA and will produce enough electricity to supply power to approximately 8,000 households and avoid 17,000 tonnes of C02 emission per year.
The three projects are built under EPC contracts provided by Solairedirect. Approximately half of the projects will be fitted with Solairedirect branded polycrystalline modules manufactured by its fully owned PV modules subsidiary, Solairedirect Technologies. Two projects have been connected to the grid in December 2011. The third one is expected to be grid connected by the end of January 2012. After completion, the three projects will benefit from the January 2010 feed-in tariff for ground mounted solar PV installations in France, that will guarantee a 20 years regulated, index linked income stream to the projects.
Both Ampere Equity Fund and Solairedirect have expressed satisfaction with the success of their partnership.
Joris van der Geest, Chief Investment Officer of Ampere Equity Fund commented:
“In an earlier stage, we have invested in this portfolio based on our confidence in the quality of the projects, the contractual structure and our partner Solairedirect. Closing this financing in the current economic environment clearly shows the robustness of the projects and the validity of our investment approach. We are pleased with the support by Natixis, Rabobank and Siemens Bank and the long term financing solution provided by them.”
Julien Pourquery, Structured Finance Director for Solairedirect commented:
“Solairedirect is delighted to pursue and accelerate its strong development with reputable international financial partners such as Ampere Equity Fund, Rabobank, Siemens Bank and Natixis, under tight constraints imposed by the French regulation. With these 3 projects, Solairedirect is now totalizing 14 projects under its own EPC contracts making it one of the most experienced EPC player on the market.”
Ampere Equity Fund
Ampere Equity Fund, managed by Triodos Investment Management, invests in renewable energy projects in Western Europe. The fund focuses on investments in energy producing assets applying proven technology, that provide 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 which is nearly fully invested. With investments in on shore wind, solar PV and offshore wind projects in The Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the UK, the Fund has built a diversified portfolio of renewable energy assets. Triodos Investment Management is a subsidiary of Triodos Bank with over 25 years of experience in renewable energy investments.
Solairedirect is the first French solar-focused independent power producer. The company is present throughout the whole photovoltaic chain from modules downwards and has built and operates 120 MW in rooftop and ground-mounted systems by the end of 2011. Solairedirect offers innovative turnkey services (development, engineering, installation, finance and operations) and guarantees high-performance photovoltaic solutions at the best rates. The company is active on four continents, has 300 employees and expects revenues of EUR 210 million per 2011. In November 2011 Solairedirect signed the first major market-priced PPA in Europe ever signed for solar systems.