Global solar technology company SunEdison has this week closed a non-recourse debt financing arrangement with Deutsche Bank to fund four utility-scale PV plants in the U.K.
The four solar projects boast a cumulative capacity of 56 MW and are currently under construction in various parts of southern England, including near Swindon, Wiltshire; on the Essex/Sussex border, and in North Devon. The portfolio is expected to be fully operational by the end of March 2014 and marks SunEdisons first footprint in the U.K.s rapidly expanding solar market.
For Deutsche Bank, the project is an opportunity to demonstrate its support of the renewable energy sector in a market that has been given a timely boost by U.K. minister of state for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker, who recently declared his intention to deploy 20 GW of solar PV capacity in Britain by 2020. "Great Britain is the most exciting growing market for solar in Europe," said Barker.
With Deutsche Banks financial backing, SunEdison has entered into a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Foresight Solar Fund Limited, an investment company listed on the London Stock Exchange. Its parent company, Foresight Group, will acquire the entire PV portfolio once complete and brought online.
"We are entering the U.K. solar market with a project portfolio while expanding our relationship with Deutsche Bank," said SunEdisons EMEA and Latin America president, Jose Perez. "We view the U.K. as a high-growth market for solar and for our company, and are looking forward to supporting economic growth for the U.K. through solar projects that create jobs and support the local economy while delivering predictably priced energy."
All solar power produced at the four plants will be purchased by SmartestEnergy, a U.K.-based purchaser of renewable energy, who have agreed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with SunEdison, who will manage each plant via its SunEdison Renewable Operation Center (ROC) a global, 24/7 asset management and monitoring service.