Scatec, Equinor acquire 117 MW PV project in Argentina

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A Norwegian consortium, formed by solar developer Scatec Solar and oil group Equinor (formerly known as Statoil), has agreed to buy a 117 MW solar project from Portuguese renewable energy company, Martifer Renewables SGPS SA for an undisclosed sum.

The Guañizuil II A project was awarded a 20-year PPA in the second phase of the third round (Ronda 2) of Argentina’s procurement program for large-scale solar and renewable energy projects, RenovAr. The project is located in the province of San Juan, along with other three projects selected in the same phase of the round, and will sell electricity to the Electricity Wholesale Market Administrator, CAMMESA, for 20 years at a price of $50/MWh.

Scatec said it plans to start construction by the end of this year, with completion scheduled for the end of 2019. The project will be owned 50% by Scatec and 50% by Equinor. Capital expenditure for the project is estimated at around $95 million. Forty percent of the project will be financed using equity from both companies, which will each contribute half, while 60% will come from a bridge loan provided by Equinor. Upon completion of the facility, long-term project financing is expected to come from a third party.

“With this agreement we are securing our first project in the growing solar market in Argentina. We see several additional opportunities in the country based on excellent solar irradiation as well as government support for renewables,” said Scatec CEO, Raymond Carlsen.

Statoil rebranded as Equinor to reflect its transition to clean energies in March. Earlier in October, it made its first investment in solar by acquiring a 40% stake in a 162 MW project that Scatec owns in Brazil. Furthermore, Scatec said it has created a 50/50 joint venture with Statoil in Brazil, which is expected to build and operate large-scale PV projects in the country over the next year.