SunEdison closes financing for South Africa solar projects

SunEdison, a solar energy services provider and unit of MEMC Electronic Materials, in partnership with Chint Solar, the Public Investment Corp., and the Kurisani Youth Development Trust, closed $314 million in long-term debt and equity financing for two utility solar projects in South Africa.

The two projects total 58 MW. Witkop Solar Park (30 MW) and Soutpan Solar Park (28 MW) will be the first utility scale solar projects to be implemented in Limpopo Province of South Africa.

Under the terms of the financing agreement, power generated from the two facilities will be purchased by Eskom, the national utility in South Africa, through a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

The Soutpan Solar Park is expected to interconnect in January of 2014, while the Witkop Solar Park is forecast to interconnect in April of 2014. Construction of both projects is expected to begin in January of 2013.

Standard Bank and Futuregrowth Asset Management are the two senior debt providers supporting both projects.

Prior to committing to the projects in South Africa, SunEdison performed extensive tests and models to determine the optimal design and projected output of the facilities. Once the projects are operational, they will be monitored around the clock by SunEdison’s fleet-wide Renewable Operations Center (ROC).

The ROC will leverage the SunEdison Environmental & Energy Data System (SEEDS) to help maximize the efficiency of the facility by tracking its actual performance against its predicted output.

Chint Solar is a member of the Chint Group, which manufactures low-voltage electrical products, as well as solutions for transmission and distribution, instruments and meters, industry automation and solar energy, and specialized products for the construction sectors.

The Public Investment Corp. is one of Africa’s largest investment managers, with assets under management of over $130 billion.

SunEdison is a global provider of solar-energy services. The company develops finances, installs and operates distributed power plants using photovoltaic technologies, delivering solar energy services for its commercial, government and utility customers. In 2011 SunEdison interconnected about 300 MW of solar throughout the world.

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