France: Ampere and Solairedirect secure €115 million in debt financing

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Ampere, owned by Triodos Investment Management, and Solairedirect funded the construction of a total of three projects through a single holding company. In a statement released, the two parties said, "At financial close, the equity bridge is refinanced by a €115 million senior secured debt facility provided by Natixis, Rabobank and Siemens Bank."

Commenting, Joris van der Geest, Chief Investment Officer of Ampere Equity Fund added, "Closing this financing in the current economic environment clearly shows the robustness of the projects and the validity of our investment approach."

Two of the three projects were grid connected in December, while the remaining system is scheduled to be online by the end of January. The work on all of them has been carried out under engineering, procurement and construction contracts provided by Solairedirect.

Around half of the projects will be fitted with polycrystalline photovoltaic modules manufactured by Solairedirect Technologies. It is unclear which other equipment manufacturers will be involved.

Overall, the three systems cover an area of 80 hectares in the regions of Auvergne and Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur. They are expected to generate enough energy to supply 8,000 households and will benefit from France’s January 2010 feed-in tariff rates.