One of AES Solar Energy’s subsidiaries has closed a long-term project financing round totaling €173 million, to finance the construction of the Cellino San Marco (CSM) project, the 43MW solar PV facility located in Puglia, Italy. CSM is now the largest solar PV project in Italy to reach financial close.
A total of five banks participated in this financing including, Société Générale, Unicredit Mediocredito Centrale, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank and Dexia Crediop. The five facilities cover approximately 85% of estimated project costs at completion; the final maturity date is 18 years post construction.
Massimiliano Battisti, a managing director at Société Générale, said, “While the Italian regulatory environment makes solar PV a highly attractive investment, its dynamics make innovative financing solutions necessary. This poses a significant barrier to entry for less sophisticated investors. In this environment we believe that it is very important to have partners like AES Solar who are among the most experienced sponsors in this sector, as they have both the industry and the financial expertise as well as the ability to understand the subtleties of the local market to enable them to successfully deliver the project.”
Construction on the project has already begun, in time for completion by the end of 2010. If completed on time, the project will qualify for the 20-year regulated feed-in tariff under the ‘Conto Energia’ scheme. CSM will use First Solar thin-film panels for the installation.