FINANCE ROUND-UP: Repsol closes Hecate deal, ForVEI II refinances 45MW of Italian solar, Aquila expands in Portugal

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An operational solar project from Hecate in Rhode Island. Image: Hecate Energy.

A round-up of the latest solar financing news, featuring Repsol’s move into the US renewables market, Aquila’s latest acquisition in Portugal and VivoPower taking full control of its US PV development portfolio.

Repsol closes acquisition of solar developer Hecate Energy

29 June 2021: Spanish oil and gas firm Repsol has completed its acquisition of a 40% stake in solar and energy storage project developer Hecate Energy.

Chicago-based Hecate said the investment will support it in constructing and bringing online its US project portfolio, including 16.8GW of solar and storage at advanced stages of development.

When the deal was announced in May, Repsol said it will have the option of buying the remaining shares of Hecate three years after the deal closes.

Guggenheim Securities was the exclusive financial advisor and placement agent to Hecate Energy, while legal and accounting services were provided to the developer by Winston & Strawn and CliftonLarsonAllen.

ForVEI II refinances 44 solar projects in Italy

5 July 2021: Solar investment platform ForVEI II has completed the €120 million (US$142 million) refinancing of a portfolio of 44 PV plants in Italy that have a combined capacity of 45MW.

The transaction is expected to optimise the financial structure of ForVEI II, which is a joint venture between private equity investment manager Foresight Group and VEI Green II, a renewables investment company controlled by Palladio Holding.

The refinanced assets have been operational since between 2009-2011 and benefit from a long-term feed-in tariff scheme. Underwriting of the transaction was provided by Natixis, Santander and BPM.

“ForVEI II has completed another important step in its journey and is now well positioned to strengthen its role within the southern European solar PV market,” said Enrico Orsenigo, managing director of VEI Green II.

Aquila acquires 50% stake in Portuguese solar project

2 July 2021: Aquila European Renewables Income Fund, a London-listed renewable energy investment company, has announced that its Tesseract Holdings subsidiary has completed its acquisition of a 50% stake in a solar project in Portugal.

The 60MWp Ourique plant is located in the Alentejo region and has been operational since December 2019.

Closing of the deal means solar PV now represents more than 25% of Aquila’s portfolio. The fund last year acquired its first solar assets in Portugal, securing a €16 million (US$19 million) deal for operational plants with a combined capacity of 20MWp.

With the completion of the Ourique acquisition, Aquila has now deployed or committed all its surplus capital that was available for investment activity.

VivoPower International takes full control of US solar development portfolio

2 July 2021: Solar and battery storage project developer VivoPower International has gained full ownership of the remaining 50% interest in its PV development portfolio in the US.

Ownership of the portfolio was previously split 50/50 with the company’s former joint venture partner, Innovative Solar Systems.

With operations in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the UK and the US, VivoPower’s growth in the solar sector this year has seen its Australian subsidiary J.A. Martin secure a contract to carry out electrical works on a 200MW PV project in Queensland and complete electrical works on a 39MWdc plant in New South Wales.

GoodLeap securitises US$417m of sustainable home improvement loans

2 July 2021: GoodLeap has announced the closing of a securitisation that is backed by approximately US$417 million residential solar and sustainable home improvement loans.

The company, which offers flexible ways for consumers to pay for solar and battery storage installations, said the weighted average yield on the securitisation was 2.37%, marking the lowest yield to date on GoodLeap securitised loans.

Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) were joint bookrunners for the transaction, which was sponsored by Lime Residential, an affiliate of Credit Suisse.

GoodLeap, which rebranded from Loanpal earlier this year, has provided more than US$6.9 billion of solar loans and other home efficiency loans through its platform since December 2017. It recently collaborated with BayWa r.e. to offer split payment financing for residential solar and energy storage installers in the US.

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