Canadian independent power producer Northland Power has closed financing for the final phase of a programme to build 130MW of PV generation capacity in Ontario, by securing a CAN$240 million (US$217.81 million), 18-year loan.

The 50MW fourth phase will consist of five plants, each of 10MW, split between northern Ontario, near the town of Cochrane and in central Ontario, near the town of Huntsville. The financing deal was managed by Japanese financial institutions Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd. and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, with Siemens Financial and Norddeutsche Landesbank as lead arrangers. Also involved in the financing process were Raymond James Ltd., CIT Financial Ltd and Laurentian Bank of Canada.

The 18-year term loan takes the form of a construction credit facility. Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ director Carmelo Restifo said the loan is “one of the largest widely syndicated Construction plus 18-year term loan bank deals completed in North America for a solar project transaction”.

The projects are expected to begin commercial operation during this year and the first half of next year. A Canadian subsidiary of US firm White Construction is responsible for construction. Northland Power claims local Ontario equipment and labour will be used. As with the rest of the 130MW PV portfolio developed by Northland Power, the plants will sell electricity generated under the Ontario feed-in tariff (FiT) programme.

John Brace, the chief executive officer of Northland Power, said the plants would deliver “strong” returns to the company’s shareholders, in addition to producing clean energy which would contribute toward the long-term sustainability of the electricity system and environment.