Solar panels. Author: Chris Baird. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic.
UK-based Foresight Solar Fund Ltd (LON:FSFL) today said it has concluded the acquisition of 49% stakes in 47 MWp of solar parks under construction in Australia, and of 100% in another 70-MWp project there.
The deal, announced back in October, involves the purchase of 49% in the 17-MWp Longreach and 30-MWp Oakey 1 solar farms, and of the whole Oakey 2 project, from Canadian Solar Inc (NASDAQ:CSIQ). With it, Foresight Solar’s portfolio reaches net peak capacity of 621 MW, of which 146 MW are under construction.
The buyer said its total investment in the Australian projects, all of which are located in Queensland, would be around AUD 74 million (USD 57.7m/EUR 48.4m). That amount includes the construction cost and will be funded by Foresight Solar’s existing revolving credit facility.
The investment is higher than previously expected due to an amendment to the Oakey 2 capital structure to deliver a more conservative gearing position. The 70-MWp project has secured a senior debt facility of about AUD 55 million from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) with a term of four and a half years. The other two solar photovoltaic (PV) projects had their financing arranged before the signing of the acquisition deal. Both have obtained grants from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), and senior debt from CEFC and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.
Longreach and Oakey 1 have 20-year fixed-price offtake agreements with the Queensland government for the sale of all of their power and the Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs). The two plants are expected to enter into service in March and September 2018, respectively. The power purchase agreement (PPA) options for Oakey 2 are being reviewed and an offtake deal is expected to be in place before the power plant goes live in October 2018.