Hanwha Q CELLS has refinanced two solar farms in the UK totalling just over 45MW of capacity, signing a power purchase agreement (PPA) with EDF Energy for the electricity produced.
The two plants were connected to the grid before the deadline to receive support under the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) scheme, which ended in April this year for projects over 5MW – two years earlier than originally expected. The successful connection secured the project's financial support under the ROC for 20 years. Meanwhile EDF Energy’s PPA is for a term of 15 years.
Hanwha Q CELLS developed the 24.8MW Green End solar farm and the 20.4MW Fenland Farm projects in partnership with Golden Square Energy (GSE), which is a joint venture (JV) between AG Renewables and Ingenious Clean Energy. Both projects are in Cambridgeshire in England and use Q CELLS Q.Pro-G3 PV modules.
The latest move to close financing involved a non-recourse loan worth £40.3 million (US$ 61.55 million) from Bavaria’s state bank, Bayerische Landesbank.
“Through this financing we are both supporting the growth strategy of Hanwha Q CELLS and also further establishing our strong position in the UK renewables market,” said Bayerische Landesbank’s MD and global head of structured finance and financial institutions, Alexander von Dobschutz.
It remains to be seen how well timed Bayerische Landesbank’s statement of intent in Britain is. The country’s renewables industry faces a huge amount of uncertainty and no small amount of challenging circumstances. The UK government has proposed cutting support for solar in particular by as much as 87%, well ahead of a planned and managed degression of the FiT up to 2020. The industry faces a brief period of consultation before final changes go through.