SunEdison secures $160 million and Starts Construction of a 110 MW Solar Energy Plant in Chile

SunEdison, Inc., the world’s largest renewable energy development company, announced yesterday that it has secured financing and started construction on the 110-megawatt (MW) DC Quilapilun solar power plant in the Metropolitan Region of Chile. Once completed, the power plant will be SunEdison’s first solar project in Santiago and is expected to be its largest solar project in Latin America.

The energy produced by the solar plant is expected to be sold to the regulated market through long-term power purchase agreements with local electricity suppliers. The energy will supply the Sistema Interconectado Central (SIC) as part of the 570 gigawatt hour (GWh) contract awarded to SunEdison by the Chilean National Energy Commission in December, 2014.

Carlos Barrera, SunEdison vice president for Latin America stated:

“This project is our first solar plant in the Metropolitan Region, and further advances our position as a renewable energy leader in Chile. Solar energy has become cost competitive with other energy generation sources in the country. With solar, we are able to supply regulated market consumers with clean energy at lower prices than they pay now.”

Concurrently, SunEdison closed a $160 million USD long-term, non-recourse debt financing arrangement for the project with CorpBanca, one of the largest commercial banks in Chile, and DNB, Norway’s largest financial services group. The financing will be used to fund the development, construction, and operation of the project.

Barrera added,

“SunEdison is pleased to have the support of two top financial institutions, CorpBanca and DNB, on this project. Our strong relationships with institutions like these will help us deliver cost effective solar energy as we grow the industry in Chile.”

CorpBanca and DNB acted as mandated lead arrangers, underwriters and hedge providers of the project financing. CorpBanca, who is the administrative and onshore collateral agent, will also provide a Chilean Peso VAT facility.

Rodrigo Oyarzo, CorpBanca head of Corporate Banking said:

“CorpBanca is highly interested in supporting SunEdison, one of the most dynamic renewable energy companies in Chile. For more than two years CorpBanca has been leading the Chilean banking industry, providing financial services and innovative financing structures in the energy sector.”

Emilio Fabbrizzi, DNB head of Project Finance Latin America commented:

“DNB is proud to finance SunEdison’s growth plan in Latin America. We were able to offer competitive financing terms thanks to the bankable power purchase agreement SunEdison has in place.”

The Quilapilun solar plant is expected to generate 242 GWh of electricity a year, enough to power 117,000 homes, and should eliminate the emission of more than 125,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent of removing 28,000 cars from Chilean roads.

SunEdison previously committed the Quilapilun project to the Call Right Project List for TerraForm Power, Inc., an owner and operator of clean energy power plants. TerraForm Power intends to acquire the power plant once it is operational. Interconnection of the 110-MW solar plant is scheduled for the first quarter of 2016.

Carlos Domenech, Chief Executive Officer of TerraForm Power said:

“Today’s announcement underscores the important role our call rights with SunEdison play on TerraForm Power’s growth strategy. This solar project more than doubles our footprint in the fast-growing Chilean solar market and provides significant value to our shareholders.”

Once construction is complete, operation and maintenance of the power plant will be performed by SunEdison Services, which provides global 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services.

Source: Press Release by SunEdison. Image Credit: Kyle Pearce via Flickr.