Aquila to acquire 100 MWp solar PV portfolio in Spain

LONDON, UK: Aquila European Renewables Income Fund plc (AERIF), advised by Aquila Capital Investmentgesellschaft mbH, announced that its wholly owned subsidiary has entered into a sale and purchase agreement to acquire 100% of a 100 MWp solar PV portfolio (Greco) currently under construction in Spain.

The Greco portfolio consists of two assets which are located in the region of Andalucía, in the south of Spain, which benefit from attractive solar irradiation yields.

The operating life of the Project is conservatively estimated as being 30 years, noting that technical due diligence and existing land leases can support a higher operating life. Construction is currently underway with fencing and earthworks activities, whilst procurement of all major equipment is now complete (including solar PV modules, trackers and inverters).

Completion is contingent upon the Project receiving all of the requisite licenses and authorisations from local authorities (incl. the grid operator) and is expected by late 2022.

The Project is expected to provide 184 GWh of renewable electricity annually over its lifetime, equivalent to approximately 58 kt of CO2 avoidance per annum[1].

Upon Project completion, Greco will increase AERIF’s total portfolio generation capacity[2] by 30% to 432 MW. The addition of Greco will also double the portfolio’s overall solar PV capacity to 200 MWp[3] and increase the portfolio’s allocation to solar PV from 29% to 47%[4] by fair value, with the remainder being allocated to wind and hydro technologies.

Under the transaction, approximately EUR 90 million will be paid at Project completion (“Deferred Consideration”), which is expected in late 2022. An upfront consideration amount will be paid at closing under the SPA (together with the Deferred Consideration, “Total Consideration”), noting that the vast majority of the Total Consideration is deferred until Project completion. The Total Consideration paid represents a fixed price for the acquisition and construction of the Project.

To secure payment of the Deferred Consideration, AERIF will provide a guarantee in favour of the parent of the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for up to EUR 100 million, which will be released upon payment of the Deferred Consideration amount.

The deal is subject to limited conditions precedent, with closing expected to take place shortly. The Investment Adviser intends to secure a Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) for the Project prior to completion. In addition to the Deferred Consideration, the transaction is also subject to an earn-out mechanism (“Earn-out”). The Earn-out is calculated as 50% of the value uplift achieved between the actual PPA price entered into versus a reference PPA price. Payment of the Earn-out is due after Project completion.

The Company intends to fund the Deferred Consideration amount (including any Earn-out, if applicable) using its surplus liquidity of approximately EUR 144 million[5], which includes the undrawn revolving credit facility (“RCF”) in place (EUR 40 million facility limit) and represents the total liquidity available, prior to Greco.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Ian Nolan, Chairman: “We are pleased to be able to secure another large scale, high quality solar PV project, which dramatically increases our allocation to solar PV, in-line with our portfolio targets.”

Michael Anderson, Senior Manager at Aquila Capital, the Investment Adviser: “This is a material acquisition for the Company and enhances the overall portfolio balance between wind and solar technologies, in-line with the longer-term targets for the portfolio. The Deferred Consideration structure, combined with AERIF’s sources of available liquidity also provides significant flexibility to pursue other investment opportunities whilst waiting for Project completion.”

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