SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE: SUNE), a leading worldwide solar energy services provider today announced the closing of a $100.4 million non-recourse debt financing arrangement with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government's development finance institution and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. The debt proceeds will be used in Chile for the construction of a 50.7 MWp solar power plant, to inject energy directly into the Central Interconnected System (SIC), selling all its production in the spot market (merchant solar).
OPIC is providing $62.9 million of debt, IFC is providing a parallel loan of U.S. $37.5 million and Rabobank is providing a local Chilean Peso VAT facility for the equivalent of U.S. $25.6 million.
Interconnection of the 50.7 MWp plant is expected to take place during the first quarter of 2014. Once completed, the project, called "San Andres" and located in the Atacama region, is set to become the largest solar photovoltaic merchant plant in Latin America in 2014 and one of the largest in the world.
Pancho Perez, SunEdison President for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America, stated, "This plant represents significant growth for SunEdison and Chile's PV industry, and significant value creation for SunEdison, investors and the region. The San Andres merchant PV plant highlights SunEdison's ability to deploy innovative energy solutions that address consumers' electricity needs, contribute to national economic growth by reducing energy cost, and serve as a reference for the industry worldwide. We are very proud to partner once again with OPIC, IFC and Rabobank in Chile to enable this worldwide flagship project."
Perez added, "When completed, San Andres will be the one of the first merchant PV plants and will demonstrate that solar photovoltaic is already a competitive energy source in countries like Chile. This project reinforces SunEdison's leadership in the Latin American renewable energy market and reaffirms our commitment to clean energy industry development in Chile."
"OPIC is excited to support this landmark project which will help Chile take advantage of its solar potential, increase access to energy, and create local jobs," said Elizabeth L. Littlefield, OPIC President and CEO. "This is an important renewable energy project for OPIC in Chile and we look forward to advancing it while continuing our strong partnership with SunEdison."
"This project proves that with the right sponsors, domestic environment and financiers, debt financing has become a viable option for merchant solar plants. IFC's support is a continuation of our strategy to promote commercially competitive renewable solutions in Chile and the wider region," said Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Vice President for Sub- Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
"Rabobank is very pleased to extend our relationship with SunEdison with financing for this second Chilean PV solar energy plant," said Thomas Emmons, Head of Project Finance for Rabobank in the Americas. "Our support of both the San Andres and Amanecer Solar CAP projects signals our belief in the long-term prospects for renewable energy in Chile, where we are also active in agribusiness lending, and our commitment to partnering with leaders in the solar power industry such as SunEdison."