German energy company Goldbeck Solar has secured a loan of €44 million (US$47.8 million) to fund four new solar PV plants, with a combined capacity of 93MWp, in Canada and Chile.
French investment group RGreen Invest will provide the loan, under its short-term debt fund Infrabridge III, for the new projects. Goldbeck will build two of the projects in the Canadian province of Alberta, and will boast a capacity of 61MWp and 8MWp respectively, while the company will build two 12MWp facilities in Chile’s Bío-Bío province.
Goldbeck will also construct the projects alongside UK-headquartered Pathfinder Clean Energy, which currently operates six solar projects in the UK with a combined capacity of 135.58MW. Pathfinder’s experience in managing local-scale solar project could be useful as Goldbeck looks to develop projects in two largely different economic environments.
The company announced that its Chilean projects are likely to benefit from the Pequeños Medios de Generación Distribuida, where small-scale renewable power projects can connect to the national grid without transmission tolls, and can expect to sell power generated at a fixed price. Meanwhile, the Canadian projects will sell their power under the more volatile merchant framework, and successfully navigating these different frameworks will be vital for the joint venture partners.
“We are thrilled to partner with RGreen Invest, a prominent player in the renewable energy finance sector,” said Olga Kovalchuk, head of finance and investment at Goldbeck Solar, drawing attention to the collaborative nature of these projects. “This collaboration reinforces our commitment to driving the global transition to sustainable energy systems and will accelerate the realisation of our first solar projects in Canada and Chile.”
The projects will benefit from an increased interest in renewable power in both countries. Between 2014 and 2020, Canada’s usage of solar power increased from 0.14% of its energy mix to 0.29%, much smaller totals than wind and hydropower, but the overall direction of the trend is encouraging.
Meanwhile in Chile, over the same period the percentage of renewables in Chile’s energy mix increased from 3% to 25%. While the country’s energy mix continues to be dominated by oil, the government is taking steps to encourage more renewable power generation. This week, the Chilean ministry of energy announced that 40 new PV projects will be funded through the Ponle Energía a tu Empresa project, as part of a CLP2.3 billion (US$2.9 million) investment.
The news follows Goldbeck’s commencement of operations at its Döllen solar park, a 154.7MW solar facility in Germany, another joint venture, this one alongside the CEE Group.
Source : PV Tech