FRV announced the financialclosing of a 65 megawatt photovoltaic plant in Uruguay, the Jacinta solar farm in Salto Department in northwestern region of the country. The announcement follows the signing of a $70 million project finance arrangement with DNB Group and Intesa Sanpaolo, along with $24 million of additional funding tranche from Santander through its Asset and Capital Structuring team.
Jacinta marks the first solar power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with Uruguay’s state-owned company UTE (Administración Nacional de Usinas y Trasmisiones Eléctricas) and is the first FRV project to reach financial close in the region. Once completed, the facility will be one of the largest solar projects in Latin America. It will generate enough electricity to supply approximately 35,000 homes in the area and remove 74,142 MT of CO2 emissions per year.
The project is due to be completed by May 2015. It is part of the government’s sustainable energy policy to promote solar power in Uruguay. The Jacinta project will be constructed by OHL Industrial, a subsidiary of the Spanish group OHL, with solar photovoltaic panels supplied by BYD.
“Jacinta will provide a low cost source of power to the region and help further Uruguay’s goal in order to transform its current mix of energy over the next few year with an increasing penetration of renewable sources”, said Rafael Benjumea, CEO at FRV. “It will also deliver considerable benefits to the local economy, including the creation of more than 200 jobs during the construction phase and the use of significant local content.”
FRV was selected for the development of this project under a PPA for a period of 30 years through a public program led by UTE. Since the confirmation of the offer, UTE and FRV have worked together in the environmental assessment and the executive project necessary to connect the generation plant to the distribution network.
“We are very excited about the Jacinta project, as it represents the first of many low cost FRV solar projects for the Latin American market and will provide an affordable, clean solar power resource for Uruguay,” added Scott Mackin, Managing Partner and Co-President at Denham Capital which is a majority shareholder in FRV.
FRV is a leading global solar development company with a 3GW pipeline of projects in the emerging solar markets including the Middle East, Australia, Africa and Latin America. Such markets are characterized by the fact that solar power generation can be provided at less cost than the marginal cost of power and/or having broad support for the development of solar power. FRV counts with the experience to develop these projects from greenfield phase to operation.
Since 2006, the management team has completed the construction, operation, maintenance and financing of over 500 MW of photovoltaic and CSP solar energy plants. Such projects represent over 2.4 billion dollars in total investment with the participation of more than 20 leading financial institutions.
Denham Capital, an energy and resources focused private equity firm with more than $7.9 billion in invested and committed funds, is a majority shareholder in FRV.