French developer Neoen secures US$280-million financing to build solar plant in Aguascalientes

French developer Neoen secures US$280-million financing to build solar plant in Aguascalientes

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French renewable energy developer Neoen announced it has secured financing of US$280 million, excluding financing costs, to build a 375MW solar project called El Llano in the state of Aguascalientes, Central Mexico. 

The funds will be provided by Bancomext, Mexico’s development bank in charge of financing international trade and local investments; Natixis, a French corporate and investment bank; and Société Générale, a French multinational investment bank and financial services company.

Located 20 kilometers east of the city of Aguascalientes, state capital, El Llano will cover 800 hectares of flat land. By the time it comes operational, El Llano will the company’s largest photovoltaic plant to date.

As one of the winners of the third government renewable energy auction in November 2017, El Llano will sell around 70% of the electricity produced at a fixed, indexed price of US$18.93/MWh (price corresponding to electricity plus green energy certificates) to a consortium consisting of CFE SSB (a public body), Iberdrola Clientes (a utility company) and Menkent (a subsidiary of cement-maker Cemex).

The purchasing contract will last 15 years for electricity and 20 years for clean energy certificates from its activation date at the end of the second quarter of 2020. The remaining output will be sold directly on the Mexican electricity wholesale market. 

Sinohydro, a subsidiary of PowerChina, and Novamper, a subsidiary of Prodiel, will build the project under a turnkey contract. El Llano will use more than a million monocrystalline modules fitted to Soltec trackers to be supplied in two equal lots by Longi and Hanwha Q Cells. 

At its peak, construction of the project will employ up to 820 people, the vast majority of whom will come from the Aguascalientes region, thus stimulating and diversifying the local economy. Operation and maintenance of the project will be managed by Sinohydro and Novamper once the plant comes into service.



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