Cero Generation achieves financial close for its 70 MW agrivoltaic solar PV project in Lazio, Italy


It has been designed to maximise performance and efficiency and key elements of this is the use of single-axis trackers, bifacial modules, and string inverters. Construction will commence in May 2022. Pontinia is expected to reach commercial operation in Q1 of 2023.
Once completed, it will generate enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of over 47,000homes, leading to the avoidance of around 40,000tonnes CO2e per year. Additionally, as an agrivoltaic plant, 65% of the 135 hectares that Pontinia sits on will also be used for agricultural crops.
This dual use of arable land is an increasingly important approach for the deployment of utility-scale solar projects that are integral to achieving a net-zero future. Further positive impact will also be delivered through the collaboration between Cero and a social farm. The social farm will be responsible for cultivating crops across the site using biodynamic and fuel-efficient methods, and in doing so will provide opportunities for the reintegration of vulnerable or socially excluded people.
As one of the largest grid-parity solar projects to reach financial close in Italy, Pontinia is at the forefront of the shift to subsidy-free solar PV projects in the country. The project’s revenues are underpinned by two long-term corporate Power Purchase Agreements(PPAs) making it one of the first corporate PPA project financings in Italy. This innovative financing approach was developed in partnership with Cero’s banking partners and marks a significant milestone in renewables development and financing across Italy.
“At Cero, we view innovation as being crucial to achieving net-zero. I’m therefore proud to see this reflected in the Pontinia project through its agrivoltaic design and the structure of its financing and off-make arrangements. We look forward to continuing to bring this level of innovation into our broader pipeline of projects in Italy and other European markets,” said Cero Generation CEO, Marta Martinez.
Cero Generation was advised by Ashurst, and the banking partners were advised by Gianni & Origoni (legal) and RINA (technical advisory). Cero is a GIG portfolio company, operating on a stand-alone basis. With over 1.5 GW of solar PV capacity under development in Italy, Cero is committed to supporting the achievement of Italy’s targets to install over 50 GW of solar PV by 2030.