Image: Lightsource BP.
Lightsource BP has clinched a funding deal with London-headquartered bank NatWest to finance the development of its maiden Spanish solar projects.
The developer has also revealed the identify of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm appointed to the cluster, and the suppliers of key components for the arrays.
NatWest Markets is to provide a senior debt facility to Lightsource BP that underwrites the project’s entire financing needs, enabling the developer to progress on a 250MW-strong cluster of projects in Zaragoza that it acquired last year.
That deal was for 300MW, and PV Tech understands that the remaining 50MW tranche will be financed under a separate deal with construction to start later this year.
Paul McCartie, chief investment officer at Lightsource BP, lauded the speed at which the financing package had been put together, citing it as a “huge testament” to what the firm can bring to Spain’s rapidly developing solar market.
“We are pleased to be in partnership with BP and NatWest Markets on our first deal in Spain. We have now made our mark on the local market which is another step towards the company’s wider goal of achieving 10GW in the next five years,” he said.
The cluster is backed by a seven-year power purchase agreement it has signed with BP European Gas and Power, which counts among the oil and gas giant’s energy supply and trading arm.
Lightsource BP has also appointed Andalusia-based Prodiel as the EPC for the project cluster.
Trina Pro bifacial panels are to be used alongside Power Electronics trackers and inverters, with Lightsource BP arguing the combination would allow for the site to operate at “maximum efficiency” while boosting energy production.
It is intended that the projects will come onstream in January 2021.
Lightsource BP is one of a growing number of big names targeting Spain’s thriving solar market, alongside the likes of utility giant Iberdrola – which last month toasted the completion of "Europe’s largest" solar plant in the country –European solar stalwart Solarcentury and IPP Solaria.
Spain’s solar market will be a subject of discussion at this week’s Solar Finance & Investment Europe conference, organised by PV Tech publisher Solar Media. Limited tickets remain available for the event, which takes places from 5 – 6 February 2020 at London’s Victoria Park Plaza. More details on the event and how to attend can be found here.
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.