Europe’s largest PV power plant has been sold by SunEdison, a subsidiary of MEMC, to private equity firm First Reserve for a cool €276 million. The 70MW plant near Rovigo, northeast Italy, is under construction, with grid connection expected before the end of 2010. Earlier this year both companies formed a joint venture which could provide for the acquisition of up to US$1.5 billion in current and future SunEdison solar photovoltaic energy projects.
In its first year of operation, SunEdison said that the power plant is expected to generate enough energy to power approximately 16,500 homes and prevent the emission of 40,000 tons of CO2.
“This transaction demonstrates SunEdison’s capabilities in developing large-scale solar projects, working with investors to design and implement project finance structures, supporting government agencies in obtaining renewable energy goals and creating green energy jobs,” noted Carlos Domenech, president of SunEdison.
SunEdison and Banco Santander jointly developed and co-owned the Rovigo plant prior to the sale. First Reserve has made an initial payment of €46 million to SunEdison, with the balance due once the system is connected to the grid.
“Rovigo will serve as a worldwide reference for its scale, representing many unique skills embedded in our partnership with SunEdison, including expertise in coordination of complex solar projects, technical management and financial execution,” added Mark Florian, managing director of First Reserve Energy Infrastructure.