Neoen closes financing for 208 MWp Altiplano 200 solar power plant in Argentina

Neoen, France’s leading independent producer of renewable energy, announced it has closed the financing for Altiplano 200, a 208 MWp solar farm located in the Salta province of Argentina.

Altiplano 200 is wholly owned by Neoen. The solar farm was formed through the merger of the La Puna (107 MWp) and Altiplano (101 MWp) projects awarded to Neoen in the RenovAr 1 and RenovAr 2 competitive tenders.

The solar power plant will be connected directly to Argentina’s high-voltage grid and will sell the electricity it generates to national power grid operator CAMMESA. Its power purchase agreements have a term of 20 years.

The power plant will be built under a turnkey agreement with Altiplano Solar GenSun TSK, a Franco-Spanish consortium formed by GenSun and TSK. The trackers, cables and high-voltage equipment for the power plant will be supplied by French partners.

The power plant will also make use of components supplied by Argentinean manufacturers.

Altiplano 200 represents a total investment of US$234 million, excluding borrowing costs. Two tranches of non-recourse senior debt have been arranged to fund the project. Proparco, DEG and ICCF will provide the first tranche, and Société Générale and KfW the second. A BPIAE buyer credit guarantee will cover the second tranche up to 95%. It is one of the first solar photovoltaic power plants in the world to qualify for the benefit of this type of financing. In addition, Altiplano 200 will be covered by a US$76 million guarantee from the World Bank.

Astris Finance, White and Case, Martinez de Hoz y Rueda, Artelia, Filhet-Allard, PricewaterhouseCoopers, EOS Energia and Ester advised Neoen. Clifford Chance, Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi, GAdvisory, Mercados Energeticos, Indecs and Mazars advised the lenders.

Emmanuel Pujol, Regional Director of Neoen in South America, commented:

“The Altiplano 200 project, which is located at an altitude of 4,000 meters, will benefit from some of the best insolation levels in the world. Construction of the power plant will bring numerous benefits. At its peak, the construction process will create 450 local jobs, with the majority of these going to members of the region’s indigenous communities, who will be trained by Neoen. The successful close of the financing and the start-up of construction on our power plant demonstrate the commitment and creative approach of Neoen’s teams. We are proud to have reached this key milestone.”

Xavier Barbaro, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Neoen, concluded:

“Argentina boasts tremendous potential for renewable energy and it has introduced an incentive-based policy to foster foreign investments into projects of this type. With the close of this innovative financing and launch of construction work on the Altiplano 200 project, we are now strengthening our presence in the country and demonstrating our ability to generate competitively-priced and reliable green electricity there. We are sincerely grateful to our industrial partners, including GenSun and TSK, and our financial partners BPIAE, Proparco, DEG, ICCF, Société Générale, and KfW, which are providing all the senior debt and have enabled us to get the project over the line.”

Source: Press Release by Neoen.