Largest merchant solar power plant in Latin America receives financing
A group of investors recently closed on the 50.7 MWp San Andres solar power plant located in the Atacama Region of Chile, near the city of Copiapo. It is the largest merchant solar power plant in Latin America and one of the largest such plants in the world.
EverStream Energy Capital Management LLC led a group of investors that includes and Claro y Asociados and SunEdison.
SunEdison developed the San Andres project, which reached commercial operation on March 14 and will retain a partial equity position. San Andres is distributing energy directly into the Central Interconnected System and selling the energy on a merchant basis, with prices determined by the spot market instead of a long term off-take contract. The peak coincidence of solar irradiance and spot electricity prices makes solar PV a competitive alternative to traditional energy sources.
In November 2013 the project received $100.4 million in non-recourse debt financing from the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (the U.S. government's development finance institution), and International Finance Corp., a member of the World Bank Group.
In addition to the debt financing provided by OPIC and IFC, the project received a Chilean peso denominated VAT facility from Rabobank equivalent to U.S. $25.6 million. This landmark transaction was awarded the 2013 Latin American Solar Project Finance Deal of the Year by Euromoney's ProjectFinance Magazine.
"As one of Latin America's first merchant solar plants, the San Andres merchant PV plant demonstrates that solar PV is already a competitive energy source in countries like Chile," said Jose Perez, SunEdison vice president and head of Europe and Latin America.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.