London-headquartered investment firm Foresight Group has started construction of an unsubsidised solar project in the municipality of Las Torres de Cotillas, Murcia region, south east of Spain.
Torre de Cotillas 1 will stand at 3.9MW and forms part of a wider 18MW development in the south-eastern Spanish region. The plant is also Foresight’s second unsubsidized PV asset under construction in Iberia this year, following the completion of the acquisition of the 7.2MW Vale Matanças project in Portugal.
Spanish firm Solarig Global Services has developed the project and will build it on a turn-key basis, with grid-connection due in the first half of 2019.
Once operational, the project will deliver 7GWh of green electricity per year, which will be sold under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with the utility Energya-VM, which Foresight claims to be the first of its kind in the solar industry. Energya-VM is part of the energy division of the Spanish corporation Grupo Villar Mir.
Carlos Rey, director at Foresight, said: “We are delighted to conclude this solid step in our strategy to develop a multi-megawatt portfolio in Southern Europe without regulatory support where revenues are derived purely from the sale of the power generated and delivered to private counterparts. The project sets an exciting new precedent in the Spanish solar industry as it is supported by a 10-year PPA at a fixed price. This proves Foresight’s capacity to deliver secured long-term revenues to our investors in an unsubsidized context.”
The business of solar is changing, as the industry scales up, technology, IT and new players to the market will add complexity. This sparks a host of opportunities such as co-location of solar and storage and the rise of unsubsidised solar projects as well as challenges which will question the very business model of European solar asset owners. Solar Finance & Investment Europe is the meeting place for institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, solar, wind and storage funds and large energy buyers to do business.