EDF Renewable Energy completes Catalina financing

03. January 2013 | Markets & Trends, Global PV markets, Applications & Installations, Top News | By:  Jonathan Gifford

Financing for the 143 MW Catalina photovoltaic power plant in, California’s Mojave Desert, has closed. EDF Renewable Energy has announced that a majority interest in the project has been acquired by a group of investors.

Black solar panels, set against a blue sky and desert hills.

EDF Renewable Energy will sell the remaining stake in the Catalina project when it is completed in the second quarter of 2013.

On the same day that SunPower announced the sale of its Antelope Valley Solar Projects (AVSP) to MidAmerican holdings for reportedly over US$2 billion, EDF Renewable Energy has announced that financing has been completed for its Catalina Solar project. The Catalina project is considerably smaller than the huge AVSP plants, however it is far closer to completion, with the plant scheduled to be operational in the second quarter of this year.

The investor group includes GE Energy Financial Services, MetLife Insurance, Union Bank, and Citi, which now have a majority ownerships stake in the project. EDF Renewables has indicated that the group will acquire the remaining stake on completion. The total investment has not been announced.

The Catalina power plant will operate under a PPA with San Diego Gas and Electric and EDF Renewable Energy will operate and maintain the power plant. EDF Renewables is a major renewable energy developer in California, with the company claiming to have developed a combined 730 MW of clean energy assets.

"We appreciate the new investment with our partners in Catalina. It underscores solar power’s ability to provide clean, abundant and affordable power, while creating economic benefits," said Michael Wheeler, Director of Project Finance at EDF Renewable Energy in a statement yesterday.

Japanese CIGS manufacturer Solar Frontier and U.S. based First Solar have supplied thin film modules for the Catalina plant. Solar Frontier Americas has confirmed that is has delivered its portion of the supply to Catalina of 82 MW of modules. It reports that it is continuing to provide contractors with technical support.

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