Thursday, April 29, 2010

France Goes Solar


Under a memorandum of understanding, the European Investment Bank (EIB), will allocate €500 million to a 2010 - 2012 investment program for financing solar power plants in France and Italy, EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN) has signed a framework agreement for the French part of this program.
At the same time, EDF EN reached financial close and is drawing on the credit line to fund the French pilot project of the program, i.e. the two initial 12 MW tranches of the Gabardan photovoltaic power plant, currently under construction.
At the same time, EDF EN is drawing on the credit line to fund the Gabardan project in the Landes department. In order to finance an important investment program over the 2010-2012 period, related to solar photovoltaic projects in France and Italy, EDF EN designed and negotiated an innovative financing solution derived from the project financing technique, usually only used for projects having a larger unit size than the ones in solar photovoltaic.

“Thanks to the volume of our projects’ portfolio, we have been able to set up a financing scheme, allowing a rapid, simple and cost-effective replication of a standard project financing structure, initially implemented for two pilot projects”, explained Philippe Crouzat, Chief Financial Officer of EDF Energies Nouvelles. “This innovative scheme, where each financing stays independent of the others, represents an effective solution to help us complete our numerous projects under development in France and Italy”.

Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding signed with the EIB on the December 17 2009, a global amount of €500 million representing up to 50% of the total financing of the investment program, is allocated to EDF EN by the EIB, the balance being provided by commercial banks.
At the same time, EDF EN reached financial close and is drawing on the credit line to fund the French pilot project of the program, i.e. the two initial 12 MW tranches of the Gabardan photovoltaic power plant, currently under construction, and which will be commissioned in 2010. Located in south-west France (in the Landes department), the ground-based solar power plant will achieve a total capacity of up to 76 MW, making it one of the largest solar photovoltaic projects in Europe.

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