Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Aquila Clean Energy to invest €2 billion in renewable energy in Spain and Portugal

Written by Eric Apim on Thursday, September 8th 2022 à 14:40 | Read 671 times

The 50 projects financed will concern solar photovoltaic and onshore wind energy (photo Aquila Capital)
The 50 projects financed will concern solar photovoltaic and onshore wind energy (photo Aquila Capital)
SPAIN / PORTUGAL. Aquila Clean Energy EMEA (140 employees in 7 countries) announced on Wednesday, September 7, 2022, an investment of €2 billion over three years in the renewable energy sector.

Aquila Capital's clean energy development platform in Europe (€14 billion managed on behalf of institutional investors worldwide) plans to finance more than 50 development and construction projects, mainly in solar photovoltaic and onshore wind energy. All of them are located in Spain (Andalusia, Cantabria, Castilla y León, Castilla y La Mancha, Valencian Community, Region of Murcia) or in Portugal (Setúbal, Coimbra, Evora, Leiria), and represent a total electricity production capacity of 2.6 gigawatts (GW), equivalent to the annual consumption of about 1.4 million homes. These operations will enable both countries to meet their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"The development of the infrastructure to meet the objectives of the European Green Deal will require significant financial support. InvestEU will play an important role in mobilizing this funding. I am delighted that this program will facilitate a €2bn investment that will help Spain and Portugal realize their green energy potential," said Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission Executive Vice-President for the People's Economy.

A €1 billion loan package

To carry out these financings, Aquila Clean Energy has concluded, Wednesday, September 7, 2022, loans for a total amount of € 1 billion. The structure brings, on these managed funds, the complement of the sum to reach 2 billion €. The loan package is made up of €400 million from the European Investment Bank and €600 million from a consortium of banks (Santander, NatWest, BNP Paribas, ING, Intesa SanPaolo, Banco Sabadell, KfW IPEX-Bank).

The EU budgetary guarantee under the InvestEU program will allow the EIB "to increase its risk-taking capacity and, in this particular case, to take on the risk of electricity trading under a non-recourse financing structure, given that the transaction does not involve any price hedging mechanism such as a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement)," says a European Commission statement.

The successor to the Juncker Plan and integrated into the European Commission's 2021-2027 budget, the InvestEU program was launched in April 2019 by bringing together all 14 of the European Union's financial instruments. Its objective is to create a greener, more digital and more resilient European economy.

Support for economic recovery

91% of the regions selected by Aquila are recognized as priorities by the EIB in terms of cohesion. The works will therefore support economic recovery in these provinces, which have been particularly hard hit by the consequences of Covid-19.  "This construction loan is the first of its kind and represents a landmark transaction for the EIB (...) We are therefore extremely proud to finance this project, with a green loan that makes a substantial contribution to Europe's energy transition and security of energy supply," said EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix.

"This transaction is the largest financing in the history of Aquila Clean Energy and Aquila Capital. It demonstrates the credibility and attractiveness of our clean energy assets that aim to actively shape Europe's energy transition," said Susanne Wermter. For the CEO of Aquila Clean Energy EMEA, "with the financing now secured, we are paving the way for further growth for our company and, with the planned assets, we will be able to offer our investors further interesting opportunities."


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