SunEdison secures $190 million for 73 MW solar plant in Chile

SunEdison, Inc. has raised $190 million for a 72.8 MW merchant solar power plant in Chile.

The financing includes a $155 million non-recourse debt financing arrangement with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and CorpBanca, a prominent Chilean commercial bank that also provided a local Chilean Peso VAT facility equivalent to $35 million.

SunEdison said it expected the interconnection of the plant to take place this year. Once completed, the project, named Maria Elena and located in the Antofagasta region of Chile, is set to become one of the largest PV merchant power plants in Latin America and one of the largest in the world.

Electricity generated from the plant will be fed directly into the Chilean national electricity grid and also sold directly on the spot market without any incentive support.

Jose Perez, SunEdison president for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, said, "Today marks a new milestone in the energy industry — this power plant demonstrates that photovoltaic solar energy can compete with traditional energy sources and win. It is an international benchmark for the development of solar energy."

SunEdison will own and operate the plant in an effort to maximize retained value. Once operational, the solar systems will be managed by the SunEdison Renewable Operation Center (ROC), which provides asset management, monitoring and reporting services.

Last month Chile inaugurated the 100 MW Amanecer Solar CAP plant in the Atacama Desert. SunEdison developed, built and interconnected the facility under an energy purchase agreement with Chilean mining and steel giant CAP Group.