SunRay, an energy company with broad skills across the photovoltaic project development value chain, with headquarters in Malta, has secured project financing for the construction of a 24MW plant at Montalto di Castro, located approximately 100km north of Rome in the province of Viterbo (region of Lazio). This is Italy’s largest photovoltaic power plant to date and SunRay intends to expand the site to 100MW by the end of 2010.
Construction began on this project in February 2009 and the first phase of 24MW will be connected to the grid by the end of 2009.
The project financing was signed on 17th September and financial close occurred on 24th September 2009 for an amount of €120m – one of the largest PV project finance deals closed in Europe this year.
The borrower is Cassiopea PV S.r.l., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sun Ray Italy Holding S.r.l. The lending banks are Banca Infrastrutture Innovazione e Sviluppo (MLA and Insurance Bank), Société Générale (MLA, Coordination and Documentation Bank) and WestLB AG (MLA, Technical and Modelling Bank). MLA stands for Mandated Lead Arranger. The banks also provided Cassiopea with the hedging coverage against interest rates fluctuations. The project also involved the leading Italian credit insurer SACE as MLA, joint documentation and partial guarantor of the Société Générale tranche. The project structure includes the co‐sharing of the substation (owner’s side) with other project companies within the Sunray group. This structure, including agreements reached with the high‐voltage grid operator Terna in relation to the substation's operation, is the first of its kind realised in Italy in the solar sector.
Successful permitting, partial construction and project financing of the Montalto project validates SunRay’s community‐based development model. SunRay Italy worked closely with all relevant authorities at the commune, province and regional level to ensure that the project design was in line with the community’s needs. SunRay selected a number of skilled local contractors to help build this plant and over 200 local workers are currently employed on the construction site.
For more information: /www.sunrayrenewable.com/