EverStream Energy Capital Management LLC, an investment firm that specializes in energy infrastructure, today announced that a group of investors, led by EverStream and Claro y Asociados, and including SunEdison, has recently closed on the 50.7 MW solar power plant (known as "San Andres") located in the Atacama Region of Chile, near the city of Copiapo.
SunEdison developed the San Andres project, which reached commercial operation on March 14th, 2014, and will retain a partial equity position. It is the largest merchant solar power plant in Latin America and one of the largest such plants in the world.
In November, 2013, the project received $100.4 million in non-recourse debt financing from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government's development finance institution, and International Finance Corporation (IFC), 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 US $25.6 million. This landmark transaction was awarded the 2013 Latin American Solar Project Finance Deal of the Year by Euromoney's ProjectFinance Magazine.
San Andres is distributing energy directly into the Central Interconnected System (SIC) 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.
"Closing financing on the San Andres project is another important milestone as we continue to build our solar power project portfolio," said PJ Lee, Managing Partner of EverStream Energy Capital Management. "As one of the largest solar merchant power plants in the world, this project will bring advanced solar generation technologies and advanced operation and management practices to Chile, while having a significant positive impact on the environment, local businesses and people."
"Our Private Equity team is excited to announce the closing of this project," said Javier Contreras, Managing Director of Claro. "This transaction leveraged Claro's unique combination of industrial and project finance expertise to deliver renewable energy exposure for the sophisticated group of investors involved."
"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. "This project reinforces SunEdison's leadership in the Latin American renewable energy market and our commitment to clean energy industry development in Chile. We are very pleased to maintain a long term ownership stake in this project alongside our investment partners, including EverStream and Claro."