Neoen announces financial close for 140 MW (DC) PV plant in El Salvador

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French independent power producer and solar project developer Neoen has secured financing for its 140 MW (DC) PV project, Capella Solar, in El Salvador.

The US$143 million senior debt is being provided by the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), the French Development Agency (Proparco) and the Inter-American Development Bank. This sum, said the FMO in a press release, includes the costs of installing a 3 MW/1.5 MWh LG Chem lithium-ion battery system, which will be supplied by Italian manufacturer Nidec.

The project, which will comprise two systems of the same size, will be constructed by Spain-based engineering company TSK and French contractor Gensun.

“Capella Solar was awarded a 20-year power purchase agreement denominated in US Dollars with local distributors Delsur, AES, EDESAL and B&D at a price below grid parity of US$49.6/MWh,” the FMO said.

The project was selected by El Salvador’s National Energy Council (CNE) in the second renewable energy auction, held in January 2017. In addition to these two projects, which were awarded a tariff of $49.55 and $49.56/MWh, respectively, CNE selected a 10 MW plant proposed by Sonsonate Energía at a price of $67.24/MWh, and a fourth 9.9 MW project submitted by Asocio Ecosolar at a price of $54.98/MWh.

The Capela Solar plant will be the second large-scale PV facility built by Neoen in El Salvador. The first, the 101 MW (DC) Providencia solar park, was commissioned in May 2017. The project, which is selling power to the national grid at a price of $0.1019/kWh, was selected by CNE in the country’s first auction for solar and wind, held in 2014.