UK solar developer Solarcentury has landed a €54.8 million finance facility to construct 500MW of solar farms in Spain.
The facility comprises a €27.7 million trade loan from Natwest and €27.1 million in guarantees from HSBC, both of which have been supported by the UK’s export credit agency UK Export Finance.
The finance will be used to support the development of two subsidy-free solar developments Solarcentury is pursuing in Spain, namely its 300MWp Talayuela project in Cáceres, Extremadura, and the 200MWp Cabrera array in Alcalá de Guadaira, near Sevilla in the south of the country.
Talayuela, which reached financial close last November, is set to become fully operational in H2 2020. In October 2018, Solarcentury sold an 80% stake in the project to German renewables operator Encavis.
Cabrera comprises four individual 50MWp plants, all of which are to slated for connection to the grid by September this year.
Together, they form part of a 1GW pipeline Solarcentury is pursuing in Spain, which in turn makes up around 20% of the developer’s 5GW global pipeline.
Neil Perry, CFO at Solarcentury, said the announcement was testament to the strength of its business and the potential of subsidy-free solar in Europe.
“With the project financing in place alongside these new facilities, construction has now begun on the landmark Talayuela project. Together with Cabrera Solar, where building commenced in July, these are two of the largest solar energy generation plants ever to be developed in Spain and among the most important in Europe, with a financing model that is free from public subsidies, while generating employment, respecting the environment and boosting the regional economy,” Perry said.
There remains some uncertainty surrounding the future of Solarcentury, however, after it was confirmed to be exploring a potential sale throughout last year. That sale, chief executive Frans van den Heuvel told sister publication Solar Power Portal last summer, would take the company to the “top tier” of international solar development.