Spanish renewable energy developer Solaria has secured $1.8bn (€1.7bn) in framework financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB), to support the construction of 20 photovoltaic power plants across Spain, Italy and Portugal.
The framework agreement comprises a long-term project finance structure, which includes several loans provided by financial institutions.
The first loan agreed under the framework has been signed: €278m for the construction of solar plants with a capacity of 1.8GW.
With a total capacity of 5.6GW, the solar plants will generate 9.29 terawatt-hours of clean energy annually and are expected to begin operations by the end of 2028.
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The EIB is supporting the projects under its InvestEU programme, which targets an investment of €372bn between 2021 and 2027.
It will support the EU’s objectives under the European Green Deal to provide electricity to 2.5 million homes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by three million tonnes per year.
More than one third of the 5.6GW of installed capacity will be located in less-developed regions that have a gross domestic product per capita of less than 75% compared with the EU average.
The solar plants will also support local employment, creating 11,000 jobs annually during the construction phase.
EIB vice-president Ricardo Mourinho Félix stated: “This project covers three markets in the European Union, bearing testament to the EIB’s firm commitment to clean energy. We want to help ensure that Europeans have guaranteed energy supply security and access to sustainable energy.
“As the EU climate bank, we are pleased to be joining forces again with Solaria. This operation contributes to foster the energy transition in the European Union while promoting economic and employment growth in less-developed regions in Spain, Portugal and Italy, which have great potential for renewable energy.”
Solaria Energía y Medio Ambiente president Enrique Díaz-Tejeiro stated: “It is a source of great pride that the EIB has once again put its faith in us as we sign the largest financing in our history. With this €1.7bn we will build 5.6GW of solar photovoltaic capacity across Spain, Italy and Portugal to continue accelerating the energy transition.
“This financing means we will have more than enough funding to meet our needs and achieve our road map target of 6.2GW by 2025.”