Mainstream closes USD$580M wind and solar financing deal in Chile
Global wind and solar development company, Mainstream Renewable Power (“Mainstream” or “The Company”), has reached financial close for the first phase of its wholly-owned and fully-contracted giant 1.3 gigawatt “Andes Renovables” wind and solar power generation platform in Chile.
The Company has successfully raised USD$580 million in debt to fund construction of phase one of what is one of Latin American’s biggest wind and solar generation platforms.
The financing has been provided by a consortium of six banks: CaixaBank, DNB, KfW IPEX-Bank, Natixis, SMBC and Societe Generale, and is one of the largest renewable energy debt financing deals undertaken in the region this year. A seventh bank, Banco Santander, provided a VAT facility.
The 571 megawatt (MW) first phase of Andes Renovables – called “Cóndor” – is comprised of three wind and one solar PV generation assets. Construction has already commenced, and the assets will reach commercial operation in 2021. They will generate enough sustainable electricity to power 680,000 Chilean homes and will displace 656,000 metric tonnes of CO2 each year.
Andes Renovables is a c.USD$1.7 billion, three phase wind and solar generation platform comprised of seven wind and three solar PV generation assets. The next two phases, “Huemul” and “Copihue”, which have a combined capacity of c. 730 MW, are on track to reach financial close in the coming months.
The new wind farms will be built by Sacyr Industrial and Elecnor, with Vestas, Nordex Acciona and Siemens Gamesa supplying the wind turbines. Sterling & Wilson were selected to build the Río Escondido solar farm, while grid connection works will be carried out by Transelec, CGE, HMV and Siemens. All four main power transformers for the projects will be supplied by ABB.
Andy Kinsella, Mainstream’s Group Chief Executive said: “Breaking ground at Mainstream’s 1.3 gigawatt Andes Renovables platform is a major milestone in our long-term commitment to bringing low cost, clean energy generation to Chile. The start of delivery of this USD$1.7 billion, three phase project – one of the largest wind and solar power generation platforms in Latin America – is further evidence of Mainstream’s position as the world’s leading independent developer of renewables, with 9 gigawatts of assets in development across Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia. Today’s announcement will be closely followed by the financial close and start of construction at the second and third phases of Andes Renovables in the coming months.”
Manuel Tagle, Mainstream’s General Manager for Latin America said: “We are very proud to be leading the way in decarbonising Chile’s electricity system as well as lowering the price of power generation in the country. Today’s announcement of the financial close of Cóndor is particularly significant, as these four new projects alone will displace over 656,000 metric tonnes of C02 per year. Furthermore, with an additional 2.7 gigawatts of wind and solar development asset pipeline, the most geographically diverse in the country, we are committed to making an even greater contribution in the decades to come.”
In 2016, Mainstream was the biggest winner in Chile’s largest ever technology-neutral electricity auction, taking 27% of the total allocated capacity. Chile’s National Energy Commission awarded Mainstream a 20-year index-linked, US dollar denominated contract, to supply 3,366 Gigawatt Hours of firm power starting in 2021. Mainstream has also delivered an additional 332 MW of wind generation in Chile via the Aela Platform with its joint venture partner Actis, delivering its first wind farm into commercial operation in 2014.