The portfolio has been bought from First Solar Inc. Plutonic is expected to make an equity contribution of around CAD$6 million and serve as the projects' managing partner. Project debt will reportedly be arranged by First Solar on behalf of Plutonic and GE Energy Financial Services and is expected to be in place at financial close, which coincides with the start of commercial operation. Additional financial details were not disclosed.
First Solar will continue to develop the facilities located in Amherstburg (10 MWs), Belmont (20 MWs) and Walpole (20 MWs), and will provide engineering, procurement and construction services, and operations and maintenance services under long-term contracts. Permitting for the projects under the province's Renewable Energy Approval process is expected this spring, and construction is scheduled to begin mid-year.
According to First Solar, the projects will create over 600 construction jobs. The projects will sell their power to the Ontario Power Authority under 20-year energy purchase agreements and will interconnect to the province's distribution grid at five points.
"Expanding into both a new market and a new technology represents significant growth for Plutonic," said Donald McInnes, vice-chairman and CEO of Plutonic Power. Mark Tonner, managing director and Canada business leader at GE Energy Financial Services added: "This transaction is GE Energy Financial Services' first solar investment in Canada (…) We see significant growth potential for solar power worldwide, which continues to improve on technology costs and efficiencies, and helps balance wind-generated power, which peaks at different times."
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