WElink Energy last week closed the sale of its 46MWp solar PV Ourika plant to leading European renewables investor Allianz Capital Partners (ACP).
The plant is fully operational and was officially inaugurated on 26th July 2018 at a ceremony that included delegates from the European Commission and the Portuguese Government. Ourika is the largest solar PV plant in Europe connected and operating without public subsidies. It is a pioneering project as the first unsubsidised project in Portugal connected directly to the to the National Transmission Grid (RNT), operated by the Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN), according to the new regulation for linking generators to European Union networks.
Developed by WElink Energy and its longstanding strategic partner China Triumph International Engineering Company (CTIEC), the Ourika plant will generate enough clean energy to power 23,000 homes. CTIEC acted as EPC Contractor including provision of construction finance, and were supported by Ecosolar on the construction works.
The project is backed by a 20 year PPA agreement.
Barry O’Neill, CEO of WElink Group, says:
“This agreement represents an important strategic milestone for WElink Energy. We are extremely pleased to close this transaction with Allianz Capital Partners given their investment heritage in renewables and their future growth ambitions. It cements WElink Energy’s transition to becoming a leading international power producer. Ourika will be followed by the Solara4 220 MWp plant due to be completed in Q3 2019. Our investments in Portugal form the start of an ambitious growth plan for WElink in Europe. We are working with excellent local partners to foster relationships that will enable rapid expansion and additional opportunities to grow together”.
Marc Groves-Raines, Head of Renewables at ACP commented:
“We are delighted to partner with the experienced developer WElink Energy on this project, which is our first investment in a solar project in Portugal. Ourika is a very valuable environmental, social, governance conform addition to our climate-friendly portfolio, which now exceeds 90 solar farms and wind parks. This investment proves the importance of renewable energies for the investment portfolio of Allianz being one of the leading European investors in this sector.”
John Murphy, CEO of WElink Energy, added:
“WElink Energy is committed to leading the new era for solar PV in the European market and contributing to a sustainable and greener future. The Ourika project signals that solar PV is now a mature technology pushing into the post-subsidy era. I want to thank Chairman Peng of CNBM for his vision in enabling this landmark project and our partner CTIEC for their collaboration in bringing it to market. Our thanks also to the Portuguese Government, DGEG and REN for their support, and our other partners and advisors”.
SDCL London acted as lead financial advisor; Our New Energy acted as independent specialist PPA advisor; and FootAnstey acted as lead legal advisor to WElink in relation to the transaction. “I want to personally thank each of these key advisors for their excellent support to the WElink team” says Barry O’Neill.
Full press release can be found here: https://www.allianz.com/en_GB/press/news/financials/stakes_investments/181025_allianz-acquires-first-subsidy-free-solar-project-in-iberia.html
Allianz Capital Partners is the Allianz Group’s asset manager for alternative equity investments and is part of Allianz Global Investors. With offices in Munich, London, Luxembourg, New York and Singapore, Allianz Capital Partners manages approximately EUR 25 billion of alternative assets. ACP’s investment focus is on private equity, infrastructure and renewable energy and the investment strategy is targeted to generate attractive, long-term and stable returns for our clients.
Ecosolar, part of the Solaer Group, is a leading company operating in the field of renewable energies since 2004. The group specializes in developing, promoting and producing engineering for turnkey projects with a clear commitment on designing and building solar photovoltaic facilities. Furthermore, the group’s business activity includes a full set of services for the facility according with the most demanding international standards. Today, Solaer operate worldwide with more than 450 MW of power installed and over 130 photovoltaic systems connected.
SDCL provide financial advisory services through creative solutions across complex and critical mandates. The hallmarks of SDCL’s practice are as an independent, conflict-free structure; a team that is one of the most highly experienced and expert in the industry; an ability to tap the intellectual capital of the entire SDCL firm; and global relationships and reach. SDCL operates exclusively within sectors that stand to benefit the most from the world’s move toward resource efficiency and sustainable development including Clean and Renewable Energy, and Energy efficiency.
Commercial law firm Foot Anstey has a specialist Energy practice that is passionate about providing innovative and responsive support to clients operating in the low-carbon energy market. It provides support to all stakeholders in energy projects across entire project life-cycles. FootAnstey’s strength is in international solar and energy storage; with a keen focus on large-scale, subsidy-free solar across Europe.
Our New Energy, based in Spain, acted as the independent, specialist PPA advisor and were instrumental in the origination, negotiation and structuring of the 20 year PPA.