Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure (CC&L Infrastructure), a Canadian-based firm that invests in mid-market infrastructure and infrastructure-like assets, and CarbonFree Technology announced the closing of approximately $360 million in debt financing facilities for their portfolio of utility-scale solar projects located in Chile.
The financings comprise a $19 million letter of credit facility, a $71 million bridge-loan facility which will be used to fund ongoing construction costs, and a ~$270 million private placement facility whose proceeds will be used primarily to refinance existing bank debt and repay the bridge-loan facility once projects complete construction.
“The aggregation, de-risking, and successful construction of individual, small-scale projects is the culmination of a multi-year strategy, allowing us to secure long-term financing at competitive rates and create value for our investors. Our base of Chilean solar assets is part of our large and rapidly growing energy transition portfolio that aggregates over 1.5 gigawatts of renewable assets across a range of clean energy technologies,” said Matt O’Brien, President of CC&L Infrastructure.
Since making their initial investment in Chile in 2017, CC&L Infrastructure and CarbonFree have expanded their portfolio, with 37 individual ground-mounted solar projects in operation and 16 projects currently under construction or expected to begin construction shortly.
The Chilean solar portfolio comprises approximately 360 MW of generation, including more than 250 MW of operating projects and 110 MW of projects currently in or about to enter construction. The portfolio will start operating by the second half of 2023.
“Chile is making excellent progress towards its 2030 clean energy and decarbonization targets, in addition to their overarching goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. We’re pleased that our portfolio of solar projects can contribute to this leadership on climate action and provide Chilean citizens with affordable electricity for years to come,” said David Oxtoby, CEO of CarbonFree.
The power generated by these projects will be sold at stabilized prices under Chile’s Pequeños Medios de Generación Distribuidos (PMGD) program and is transmitted to the grid through transmission infrastructure owned by local distribution companies.
According to Mercom’s 1H and Q2 2022 Solar Funding and M&A Report, announced large-scale project funding in Q2 2022 came to $6.9 billion, a 24% decrease compared to $9 billion in Q1 2022.