The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved framework financing of up to €1.7 billion for Solaria to support the construction of some 120 photovoltaic power plants.
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Mostly located in Spain, as well as Italy and Portugal, they will have a total capacity of approximately 5.6 GW and will produce an estimated 9.29 TWh a year.
The power plants are expected to come into operation by the end of 2028. This is Solaria’s most ambition financing operation to date.
The project is backed by the InvestEU programme, which aims to trigger more than €372 billion in additional investment over the period 2021-27.
This operation comes under InvestEU’s Sustainable Infrastructure policy window and it will support the achievement of the EU’s policy objectives under the European Green Deal by providing electricity equivalent to the average annual demand of approximately 2.5 million households and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by around 3 million tonnes of CO2 a year.
The project will contribute to social and economic cohesion, accelerate the green transition, and strengthen the security of energy supply in the European Union.
The operation has a long project finance structure involving the signature of several loans, which financial institutions will be able to participate in under the framework financing.
The first loan under this framework financing has been signed for a total amount of €278 million for the construction of photovoltaic power plants with a total capacity of approximately 1.08 GW.
More than one third of the installed capacity will be located in less developed regions. These are regions that have a GDP per capita that is less than 75% of the EU average.
The project will significantly boost employment in the areas where the plants are to be built, creating around 11.100 jobs a year during the construction phase, according to EIB estimates.
The loan is part of the EIB’s dedicated package of support to the REPowerEU Plan, which is designed to end dependence on fossil fuel imports, by increasing energy efficiency, and ramping up production from renewables. ■