Enerparc poised to enter the US solar development market

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Enerparc, a major European solar developer, appears poised to move into the US market after it was announced yesterday that the company has selected a San Francisco-based company to assist with due diligence and transactions.

Last year, Enerparc began working with Mercatus, a software platform that hosts data on 650 US solar projects. The company has since processed 100MW across 40-50 projects, 50MW of those are now at term sheet or in underwriting and will be announced this summer.

Rated as Germany’s top engineering procurement construction (EPC) contractor, and sixth in the world in 2012, Enerparc has designed and built over 930MW of systems worldwide since 2009.

Florent Abadie, the chief executive of Enerparc, said: “As one of the world's largest solar project developers, we see the emergence of a wide variety of disparate North American projects as both promising and challenging.

“The promise is continued growth, but the challenge is speed: how to quickly identify and increase quality acquisition or investment opportunities. In order to enter the North American market and execute on our goals, we needed a partner like Mercatus—with domain expertise akin to ours in other countries—that could increase our speed in pricing attractive projects competitively, while at the same time acting as a workforce multiplier to optimize operational costs and headcounts.

Mercatus claims that its platform cuts due diligence costs in half. 

Tim Buchner, chief operating officer at Mercatus, said: “The platform has served the purpose: how do you weed out the ones you don't want to look at, how do you incubate the ones that are relevant and how do you transact the ones that can be fast-tracked.

“The key is speed. It's not that they can't develop that over two years, the problem is that the market will shift in two years as we've seen. It was utility, it's moved to residential and now it's scaling in the commercial and industrial space.

“A major problem for foreign developers is tax equity and coming in and having the right syndicate of investors for them we support that and introduce many different parties.”

Mercatus was founded in 2009 and now has 10 subscribers, including several Independent Power Producers, a utility company and a corporate tax equity provider.

Meanwhile, two other major developers in Germany, Conergy  and Gehrlicher Solar, last week began insolvency proceedings.

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