UK-based Foresight Group has signed a joint venture agreement with Quercus Renewable Energy Fund, a division of the Luxembourg-based Quercus Asset Selection, for the expansion of its investments in the Italian solar PV market. Quercus bought a 50% stake in Foresight’s Luxembourg holding Foresight Lux Co 2, which controls 40% of ForVEI, a company that was established by investors with help from Foresight, who were looking to buy interests in Italian PV plants.
After the transaction between Quercus and Foresight was completed, the ForVEI venture bought three Italian solar plants with a total capacity of 13MW from Spain’s OPDE Group. The companies noted that the US$75 million deal is the largest lease financing arranged by a single bank for a solar deal in Italy to date.
Two divisions of Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP) will own the solar parks for 18 years during which ForVEI will pay a monthly lease and earn guaranteed above-market rates for the power generated by the three plants, which are anticipated to have an expected return between 12% and 15%. The agreement between OPDE and ForVEI calls for the possibility of the company buying an additional 20MW of Italian solar farms, which have been developed by OPDE, by the end of October.
Pietro Zerauschek, partner of Foresight Group and head of its Italian solar team said, “ We are extremely satisfied that an agreement was reached with Quercus thus allowing the venture to further increase its capacity to purchase first quality solar plants in the Italian market. Size matters and we are confident that with the help of Quercus’ first class investment team we will be able to identify and acquire additional attractive projects.”