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Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), part of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy and a leading global developer of renewable utility-scale projects, has announced the financial close for Potrero Solar (296 MW dc), the Company’s second solar farm in Mexico.

FRV reached financial close last March with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior (Bancomext), and it is expected that the plant which began construction in late May, will be completed by mid- 2020.

Potrero Solar is FRV’s first project in Mexico to be financed before having any of its products (energy, CELs or capacity) committed in the tender schemes, and one of the largest merchant PV projects worldwide. It is also one of the world’s largest PV projects to use bifacial technology. Once operational, the plant will trade the electricity generated as well as the associated clean energy certificates at the country’s energy market.

With an approximate area of 700 ha, Potrero Solar will be located in Lagos de Moreno, in the state of Jalisco, and will use bifacial PV modules, a new technology that has the ability to capture both direct sunlight from both the front and reflected light from the rear side.

The solar power farm will generate around 700 GWh of clean energy each year, enough to supply around 350,000 average Mexican homes and reduce the emission of 345,000 T/year of CO2. In addition, Potrero, which will be built by a consortium formed by multinationals Power China and Prodiel under an EPC contract, will boost the economic development of the local community including the potential of around 1,500 jobs during its construction phase.

Fernando Salinas, Managing Director of FRV Mexico and Central America, highlights: “Mexico is a country that offers numerous opportunities for both FRV and international investors, due to its favorable market and weather conditions for renewable energy projects. Potrero’s financial close marks a milestone as the largest bifacial plant in the world and FRV’s first fully merchant project in Mexico. By carrying out this flagship project that will lead the way for other large-scale bifacial PV plants and that is also one of the largest PV merchant projects worldwide, FRV demonstrates its leadership once again and its ability to be a spearhead in the wider renewable energy industry.”

Bancomext assures that “Potrero Solar has all the features a financial institution looks for during a transaction: an experienced, highly professional sponsor, high-quality technology, an EPC provider with a well-proven track-record and a solid financial structure. With this project, Bancomext reaffirms its leading position in the Mexican market, supporting renewable energies under the ‘spot market price’ scheme and fostering job creation in the country during the construction and operation phases.”

Fady Jameel, Deputy President and Vice Chairman of Abdul Latif Jameel, said: “At Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, we are delighted to move forward to the next phase of the Potrero project. Potrero confirms FRV’s positioning as one of the leaders in the global renewable energy sector and further reinforces our long-term commitment to Mexico’s drive for clean energy. Mexico is a strong and promising market for FRV and Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, and we look forward to seeing Potrero spearhead the development of the sector in the country and further afield.”

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Foundation of a wind turbine

GES, an integral supplier of engineering, construction and maintenance for renewable energy projects (wind, solar and hydroelectric) will build the Valdejalón wind portfolio consisting of 5 wind farms in Aragón, Spain. Once completed, the wind farms will have a total installed capacity of 231 MW. Construction is expected to be finalized in 2020 second quarter.

The project is divided into two phases: Valdejalón East which includes the wind farms El Cabezo (49 MW) and Portillo II Phase I (45.6 MW) and Phase II (38 MW), and Valdejalón West composed of Virgen de Rodanas I (49.4 MW) and Virgen de Rodanas II (49.4 MW).

The Valdejalón portfolio is fully owned by the Danish fund manager Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners P/S (CIP) through its fund Copenhagen Infrastructure III K/S (CI-III). CIP is a fund management company focused on energy infrastructure including offshore wind, onshore wind, solar PV, biomass and energy-from-waste, transmission and distribution, and other energy assets like reserve capacity and storage. The company operates in Europe, North America and Southeast Asia.

GES is responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction of the project. The company is already working in the detail engineering, and will be in charge of the complete BOP (Balance of Plant), both the civil work, with more than 60 km of roads and 61 foundations and platforms for the 85 m wind turbines to be installed in the park; and the electrical work, including the underground medium voltage network with more than 55 km of trenches and the 132 kV evacuation line of almost another 50 km, which will connect the two new substations to an existing interconnection substation.

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Solarpack Corporación Tecnológica, SA (the “Company” or “Solarpack”) announces the closing of the acquisition of 90.5% of the solar photovoltaic (” FV “) projects Tacna Solar and Panamericana Solar (the “Projects”) with TAWA SOLAR FUND LP and the rest of the Projects’ shareholders, for US$ 51.5 million. With this milestone, the Company has become the owner of 100% of the Projects, since prior to the transaction it had 9.5% of the shares of the special purpose vehicles (“SPVs”) owning the assets: Tacna Solar SAC and Panamericana Solar SAC.

The Projects, which were developed and built by Solarpack in 2012 in association with Gestamp Asetym Solar (now X-ELIO), are located in southern Peru and have a total combined installed capacity of 43 MW. Both Projects have a long-term power purchase agreement (“PPA”) in US$ in place with the Peruvian Ministry of Energy, as a result of the first renewable energy resources (“RER”) tender held in Peru in 2010, and have more than 13 years of remaining contractual life under their respective PPAs.

The Projects have a long-term non-recourse project financing granted by Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), had a net financial debt of 113 MM$ as of February 28, 2019 and booked a joint EBITDA (Pro forma EBITDA 2018 considered the acquisition of the c. 13 MW in Spain as if it had happened on January 1, 2018, and was 25.2 MM€) of 21 MM$ in 2018.

In order to partly finance the acquisition of the Projects, Solarpack has disbursed a bridge loan granted by Banco Santander for 30 MM$. For the amortization of the bridge loan, the Company contemplates several options that may involve the entry of a minority partner in the Projects or, alternatively, maintaining full ownership of the assets.

The transaction is part of Solarpack’s strategy to selectively acquire operating assets that offer attractive returns and clear value creation opportunities from operational or other types of synergies. With this acquisition, the Company accelerates the original growth plan with which it went public in December 2018.

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The EU’s largest National Promotional Banks and Institutions and the European Investment Bank launch a 10 M€ initiative to accelerate the transition to a sustainable and circular economy

Five European national promotional banks & institutions and the European Investment Bank (EIB) launched today in Luxembourg the Joint Initiative on Circular Economy to support the development and implementation of circular economy projects and programmes in the European Union (EU). This flagship partnership will target at least 10 M€ of investments over the next five years (2019 – 2023). The aim is to prevent and eliminate waste, increase resource efficiency and foster innovation by promoting circularity in all sectors of the economy.

The five national promotional banks & institutions are:

  • Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK – Poland)
  • Groupe Caisse des Dépôts (CDC – France) including Bpifrance
  • Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP – Italy)
  • Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO – Spain)
  • Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW – Germany)

The six partner institutions will combine their expertise, experience and financial capacity to better support the implementation of viable circular projects and programme approaches. The Joint Initiative on Circular Economy (JICE) will provide loans, equity investment or guarantees to eligible projects and develop innovative financing structures for public and private infrastructure, municipalities, private enterprises of different size as well as for research and innovation projects. JICE builds on the ongoing initiatives led by the European Commission to build knowledge through dedicated working groups and develop financing schemes.

The joint initiative will focus particularly on investments in the EU Member States that will help accelerate the transition to a circular economy. It will target all stages of the value chain and lifecycle of products and services:

  • Circular design and production: applying “reduce and recycle” strategies to design out waste at the source, prior to commercialisation.
  • Circular use and life extension: enabling the reuse, repair, repurposing, refurbishing or remanufacturing of products in use phase
  • Circular value recovery: recovering materials and other resources from waste, recovering waste heat and/or reusing treated wastewater
  • Circular support: facilitating circular strategies in all lifecycle phases, for example with the deployment of key ICT technologies, digitalization and services supporting circular business models and circular value chains.

Project examples:
To illustrate the type of projects eligible under the Joint Initiative for Circular Economy, here are some examples of projects already financed by the six partner institutions.

BGK (Poland)

PKP SKM in Tricity: PKP SKM in Tricity is the local railway carrier, operating on the very important railway line no. 250, connecting Tricity metropolitan area (Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot) in the north of Poland. In 2012 BGK issued for this company bonds worth 235.400 € with 9 years to maturity. The funds obtained by the company were used as the own contribution to investment in refurbishment of 22 electric multiple units, which allowed to extend their lifetime by another 20 years.

Sklejka Orzechowo: BGK signed a 5.178.664 € investment loan for a new production line for plywood and blockboard production and for related infrastructure. The new production technology and resource loops to be introduced as part of the investment will result in sewage reduction, more efficient biomass use, reduced water consumption, heat recovery and reduced noise emission.

CDC (France)

PHENIX: Bpifrance, via its Smart Cities VC fund, co-led a 15 M€ financing round in PHENIX. The capital raised is used to accelerate growth throughout Europe, invest in the development of new digital services, including the launch of B2C mobile app (‘Phenix app’), and expand towards the management of other waste streams.
BDT – Terradona (France): CDC (Banque des Territoires), together with other public and private institutions, has financed the fundraising of the green-tech company Terradona, creator of Cliiink®, smart and eco-responsible solution for waste sorting. Proposed to local authorities, the innovative Cliiink® solution reduces the cost of treating their waste and improves the cleanliness of their agglomerations, while rewarding good sorters and boosting local trade.

CDP (Italy):

Ex Sadoch (Trieste): The urban regeneration project has concerned the retrofitting of a building complex with over 8,900 m2 that once housed the Saul Sadoch paper factory, a complex, built in 1957 and left unused since the 1990s. Besides the buildings, the project has also allowed the renovation and redevelopment of the surrounding formerly industrial area, which for a long time represented a space of abandonment and degradation. The project was carried out by the FVG Social Housing Fund, in which CDP Investimenti SGR has invested over 60 M€ through “Fondo Investimenti per l’Abitare” (FIA), real estate fund dedicated to social housing.

Ex Manifattura Tabacchi (Milan): A comprehensive retrofitting project of 90,000 m2 of abandoned public estate on a former industrial site, aimed at regaining a semi-central urban plot located close to the Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca. The project is being led by an SPV of which 50% of shares are held by CDP Immobiliare and in which CDP invested over 40 M€ to redevelop Edificio2.

EIB (EU-wide)

Novamont Renewable Chemistry: Novamont develops innovative bioplastics and biochemicals based on renewable resources, which are biodegradable and compostable. Novamont’s holistic approach and vision for the bioeconomy, where the business model includes local agriculture as well as the reuse of by-products, is producing positive results for material innovation.

De Lage Landen (DLL) Circularity Loan for SMEs and Midcaps: DLL refurbishes and leases second and third life equipment to companies. The DLL engagement will allow SMEs to save costs and invest in other areas while strongly contributing to the realisation of the circular economy objectives.

KfW (Germany)

Circular use of process heat: Traditional Bakery Müller Egerer had it production processes scrutinised by an energy consultant. KfW provided a promotional loan of 0,9 M€ and the company benefitted from a redemption grant of 150,000 €.

Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO – Spain)

Red de Calor de Soria – Biomass District Heating: Leading district heating project in Soria, Spain, wich using woodchip residue from local wood industry as fuel. The project supplies heat and water to more than 16,000 inhabitants and 8,000 homes. Total investment adds up to 20 M€ and ICO participates in a relevant proportion in equity through the FondICO Infrastructures fund. The amount of renewable energy supplied is around 80 GWh/year, saving CO2 emissions for more than 28.000 Tm/year, using local fuel and creating local jobs.

Recycling sea waste: Ecoalf is a circular economy start-up in Spain that collects marine debris from the bottom of the sea, treats it, and converts it into thread to make clothes and accessories. Its goal was to design the first generation of fashion items created with recycled materials that would have the same technical properties as the best non-recycled products, and be of equal quality and design, showing that continuing to misuse the planet’s natural resources indiscriminately is unnecessary.

Source: EIB

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The solar tracker and fixed structures manufacturer reached agreements last January with 2 major French companies, for the construction of various projects located in the regions of Aquitaine, Languedoc-Roussillon, Champagne-Ardenne and Occitania during the first semester of this year. These projects were awarded by the French government in the CRE 4.1 and CRE 4.2 auctions.

In total, these plants will avoid the emission of about 50,000 T of CO2 anually for 30 years.

The largest project occupies an area of 37 and counts with 357 units of STI-H250TM DUAL-ROW trackers, and a power of 17 Mwp installed on an area of 37 hectares. It has been built on a former NATO military base that now belongs to the Department of Aube, and will produce power for more than 8,000 homes.

Another project has been built on an old landfill, and has required the development of a foundation solution adapted to the particularities of the project, on a surface of 6 hectares and 4 MWp of installed power will produce energy for about 2,200 homes.

On the other hand, the last two projects have the STI-F5TM bipost structure, are the first projects in France that use double-glazed bifacial modules and have required a specific adaptation of the structure minimizing shading on the back of the modules.

It should be noted that several of these projects have a participatory financing formula. Through a Crowdfunding strategy in diverse platforms allowed the inhabitants of the neighboring departments to collaborate on the financing of the projects.

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From the deep fjord outside Stord on the west coast of Norway, the floating wind turbines will be towed to Scottish waters. The world´s largest floating wind project will be located 25 km off the coast of Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, at water depths between 90 and 120 m.

The floating foundations in the Hywind project are ballast-stabilized and anchored to the seabed with mooring lines. With their lightweight nacelles, Siemens Gamesa large direct drive wind turbines are particularly suited for floating foundations.

 

The Hywind concept has already proven its effectiveness in 2009, when Statoil and Siemens Wind Power successfully installed a 2.3 MW Siemens Wind Power turbine at the first full-scale floating wind turbine project worldwide, Hywind Demo.

At the same time, Siemens Gamesa gathered a lot of experience on the specific requirements regarding the control parameters on a moving wind turbine under offshore conditions. For the floating installation, the technicians developed new controller algorithms for rotor pitch and yaw drive regulation.

The most important key success factor for the future of floating wind turbines is concepts which are cost (LCoE) competitive with bottom fixed foundations.
In the Scottish pilot project Siemens Gamesa and Statoil have been working close to develop a concept for commercial and large scale offshore wind parks which is cost efficient and with low risk.

Commissioning of the Hywind project is planned for 4Q17.

The majority of operating floating wind farms are currently located in Europe. However, California, Hawaii, Japan and Taiwan are attractive geographies for floating wind power turbines in the future.

Source: Siemens Gamesa

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An ENGIE-led consortium with partners, SENER and ACCIONA, held a ground-breaking ceremony for their Kathu Solar Park in the town of Kathu, in the Northern Cape Province, brought together local officials, guests and the project’s South African partners.

Construction has begun following the signing of a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between ENGIE and Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned power utility. The 100 MW Kathu Solar Park is expected to be operational in the second half of 2018.

 

Kathu Solar Park is a Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project that is being built by Spanish engineering and construction companies SENER and ACCIONA. The plant uses parabolic trough technology specifically designed and patented by SENER, and is equipped with a molten salt storage system that allows 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage to extend the operational capacity of the plant after sunset. Kathu Solar Park will produce enough power to supply 150,000 homes.

The joint venture between SENER and ACCIONA has been appointed by the ENGIE led consortium to provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the project. Construction started on site in May 2016 and is due for completion in the second half of 2018. Approximately 1,200 jobs, of which approximately 36% will be local, will be created during the construction phase. It is estimated that the Kathu Solar Park will save six million tonnes of CO2 over 20 years and will further promote local economic development through various projects such as a local community trust for the benefit of communities in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality situated in the Northern Cape and sourcing of other services from local entrepreneurs.

Kathu Solar Park has been awarded preferred bidder in the third round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP) led by the South African Department of Energy (DOE).

Source: SENER

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Solar energy company Proinso has announced it will open a new operation in Indonesia’s West Java province. Proinso will have distribution and integrated products available in Indonesia along with PT. Surya Energi Indotama (SEI), a highly experienced local EPM division.

A spokesperson for Proinso commented, “Indonesia is a market of major focus for Proinso. With over 250 million people, a growing economy, good solar irradiance and energy deficiency it has vast opportunity. However, it has significant logistical and engineering challenges which our local partner is extremely experienced and successful in dealing with.”

Proinso has worked in partnership with PT SEI on numerous off-grid, distributed generation and utility projects over recent years and this consolidates leading capabilities, experience and relationships both locally and worldwide.

Earlier this year, Proinso opened seven new offices across Latin America. The company now has 27 office locations worldwide.

 

Source: Proinso

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) signed on April 8 a loan agreement to establish a credit line totaling up to USD100 million (JBIC portion USD50 million) with CAF –Development Bank of Latin America, taking the opportunity of the IDB-IIC Annual Meeting held in the Bahamas. The loan is cofinanced with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and The Hachijuni Bank, Ltd., with JBIC providing a partial guarantee for the cofinanced portion.

The credit line is intended to finance through CAF the necessary funds for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in CAF’s shareholding countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region, under GREEN operations*1. This loan follows a similar loan made to CAF in March 2011*2.

CAF, whose main shareholders are its 19 member countries*3 in the Latin American and Caribbean region, aims to achieve economic integration, as well as to promote economic development and trade finance in the region. JBIC has built up a cooperative relationship with CAF over a period of more than forty years through JBIC loans for infrastructure projects, as well as for exports of machinery and equipment to the Latin American and Caribbean region and for industrial investment and export promotion in the region.

Major Latin American and Caribbean countries had announced climate actions they intend to take under a new international agreement ahead of the COP21, and have been taking vigorous steps to implement measures to cope with climate change. Amid these developments, CAF has been actively supporting environment-related projects with a focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, and thus this credit line is expected to contribute to reducing GHG emissions in the Latin American and Caribbean region. This is also in line with an initiative announced by the Japanese government in December 2015, “Actions for Cool Earth: ACE2.0.”

As Japan’s policy-based financial institution, JBIC will continue to support global environment conservation efforts in cooperation with regional development banks, by drawing on its various financial facilities and schemes for structuring projects and performing its risk-assuming functions.

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Siemens has received an order for the supply, installation and commissioning of 60 direct-drive offshore wind turbines, each with a capacity of six megawatts (MW). The customer for the project is a consortium between the German power provider E.ON based in Essen, and the Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil headquartered in Stavanger. When it comes online in 2019, the Arkona offshore wind farm’s total capacity will be sufficient to supply up to 400,000 German households with ecofriendly electricity. E.ON will have responsibility for building and operating the wind farm. Siemens and E.ON will be jointly responsible for service to the wind turbines for an initial two year period.

“This is the first order for our large direct-drive offshore wind turbines for a project in the Baltic Sea,” stated Michael Hannibal, Offshore CEO of the Siemens Wind Power and Renewables Division. “This is also the second offshore wind farm that we will be erecting for E.ON in German waters. We are pleased that E.ON and Statoil have once again chosen one of our offshore wind turbines for a new offshore wind power plant so we can continue our very good partnership with these two companies.”

Siemens has already supplied 80 wind turbines for the E.ON project Amrumbank West in the German North Sea. In December 2015, Siemens announced that it would deliver five wind turbines of the six MW class to Statoil´s Hywind Scotland project.

The Arkona offshore wind power plant is to be erected around 35 kilometers north-east of the island of Rügen. Over an area of approximately 40 square kilometers, 60 wind turbines will be erected on monopile foundations in ocean depths of between 23 to 37 meters. Installation of the offshore wind turbines will begin in the summer of 2018. A team consisting of service technicians from Siemens and E.ON will be responsible for servicing and maintenance of the wind farm for an initial period of two years. This service agreement also includes round-the-clock remote monitoring of the wind turbines from the Siemens Remote Diagnostics Center in Brande, Denmark.

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