Two subsidy-free PV power complexes in Spain with a combined capacity of 500MW are moving head after the developer Solarcentury set the seal on almost €55m ($61m) in new bank loans, providing a further fillip to the southern European country’s renewable energy renaissance.
The funding – a €27.7m trade loan from the NatWest bank and a €27.1m guarantees line from HSBC, both supported by UK Export Finance, Brtain’s export credit agency – will underpin construction of 300MW Talayuela project in Cáceres, Extremadura, and the 200MW Cabrera complex in Alcalá de Guadaira near Seville.
Once online in 2020, the solar plants will together provide electricity to over 250,000 homes.
“With the project financing in place alongside these new facilities, construction has now begun on the landmark Talayuela project,” stated Solarcentury chief financial officer Neil Perry.
“These are two of the largest solar energy generation plants ever to be developed in Spain and among the most important in Europe, with a financing model that is free from public subsidies, while generating employment, respecting the environment and boosting the regional economy.”
UK Export Finance CEO Louis Taylor said: “Renewables projects are emerging around the world and this deal highlights the strength of the UK’s offer. We’ve worked with the banks to ensure Solarcentury has the level of support required to deliver these two substantial solar projects.
“UKEF’s support means UK companies are well placed to win overseas contracts and exports in renewable and clean growth opportunities.”
Last month, Solarcentury announced it had secured funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Germany’s Deutsche Bank, which would pave the way for the Talayuela project.
Currently, the developer has a 1GW solar pipeline in Spain and a 5GW under way globally.
After years in the doldrums, the Spanish renewables market is sprining back to life, with utility Iberdrola announcing in Nov iembert aims to build 400MW of new solar plant in the country, taking its current in-construction renewable energy portfolio in the countury to more than 2.5GW, including the 590MW Francisco Pizarro project, the largest PV plant under development in Europe.
Industry body SolarPower Europe believes the booming Spanish market might add up to 19.5GW of new PV by 2023, driven by supportive policies and emerging opportunities for corporate power production agreements – such as the recent deal between Iberdrola and Nike – is among the top seven PV market prospects globally.