ROUND-UP: Akuo 50MW Mali financing, Spain self-consumption, European survey, CDPQ stake in Azure

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Credit: Baywa r.e.

Akuo Energy reaches financial close on 50MW Mali solar project

17 October: French IPP Akuo Energy and global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright have closed the financing facilities on a 50MW solar PV plant in Sikasso, Mali.

The Kita solar farm has been in development by Akuo Energy since 2014, with Norton Rose Fulbright advising on the transaction since July 2016. The firm’s teams in Johannesburg and Paris represented the following Lenders: The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund Limited (acting through its agent and investment manager Investec Asset Management Proprietary Limited), Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement, Banque Nationale de Développement Agricole, and Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO).

Head of banking and finance at Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa, Jackie Midlane, said: “We are proud to have played a key role in the region’s most high-profile, innovative transactions.”

BayWa r.e. completes self-consumption solar project in Spain

18 October: Renewable energy developer BayWa r.e. has completed a 288kW rooftop PV installation for the Pastores Grupo Cooperativo in Spain. The project is BayWa r.e’s first self-consumption project in Spain and is one of the first of its kind in the country.

A livestock cooperative, with close to half a million sheep and 1,000 members, Pastores Grupo Cooperativo will be one of Spain’s first Commercial and Industrial (C&I) organisations to benefit from its own PV installation. One hundred percent of the solar energy will be consumed at their lamb processing facility in Zaragoza.

The installation comes as a result of Europe’s SCOoPE project, which is aimed at transferring good practices and energy efficiency to European agro-industries in the dairy, meat, juice and processed, and drying sectors; especially cooperatives. The project will save the Pastores Grupo Cooperativo a projected €700,000 on its energy bill, over 25 years.

The project involved five Huawei 36KTL inverters and three Huawei 33KTL inverters. Due to the region’s high winds BayWa r.e. used its own novetegra rooftop mounting system, as well as 960 high-efficiency LONGi 300Wp PERC Technology modules.

Solar comes top in European survey

18 October: A new European Social Survey (ESS) on 'European Attitudes toward Climate Change and Energy' found that solar power has the highest level of support in Europe, with 89% of Germans 85% of Italians and 85% of French saying it was their preference.

Aurélie Beauvais, policy director of SolarPower Europe, said: “Solar is the energy choice of Europeans. Nine out of ten people believe that solar is the best technology to affordably address climate change and ultimately help reach the EU's 2050 decarbonisation goal. Solar is the most democratic and decentralised form of energy. The beauty of solar is that anyone, anywhere can install it on their residence, school, hospital or business. That is why it is crucial that the EU get the upcoming Electricity Market Design Directive right for small-scale solar players. A market design fit for small solar installations will ensure that European citizens can continue to take an active part in the energy transition.”

CDPQ increases stake in Azure Power

17 October: La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) has increased its stake in Indian developer Azure Power to 40% through a US$100 million contribution to the company's recent capital raising. This new investment in Azure Power brings the total amount invested by CDPQ to US$240 million.

“Through this investment, we are reaffirming our commitment to Azure Power and our willingness to support its growth. Azure Power is a leader in the fast-growing sector of solar power in India, a priority market for CDPQ, and has a high-quality management team that possesses thorough knowledge of the industry. Furthermore, this transaction fits perfectly with CDPQ's desire to contribute, as an investor, to a global low-carbon economy,” said Emmanuel Jaclot, EVP, infrastructure at CDPQ.

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