California boost for T-Solar

Insolvent Spanish PV group T-Solar has managed to pin down a $67.6m loan for a 20MW AC project in California, despite an ongoing standoff with workers in its home country.

The loan represents a significant – if temporary – win for T-Solar and the beleaguered Spanish solar sector.

Aside from Yingli, which will supply modules for the Solar Orchard Imperial 1 array, located near the Mexican border, the project will be dominated by Spanish companies.

Seville-based GPtech has been chosen to supply inverters, Pamplona-based Sti norland will supply the single-axis trackers, while Isolux Infrastructure, which acquired T-Solar in 2011, will perform the EPC work.

The electricity generated will be sold to the Imperial Irrigation District, a publicly owned water utility serving the region. IID, like all California utilities, must derive 33% of its power from renewables by 2020, with stringent interim targets along the way.

Meanwhile, back in Spain, T-Solar continues to negotiate with a handful of former employees who have occupied a T-Solar facility in the region of Galicia.

Last month it emerged that British PV company Sunfilm UK offered to buy T-Solar manufacturing assets – not including its crippling debt pile – for €2.2m. But the Galician government, which has heavily subsidised T-Solar’s build-up, refused the offer.

T-Solar develops, owns and operates PV projects around the world, with more than 230MW on line at present, and another 55MW under construction in the US. Its modules business, however, has not been able to compete with cheaper Asian rivals.