Genesis Energy, a New Zealand-based power and gas utility company and joint venture partner, FRV Australia, completed the financial close on the 63 MW solar project, which is yet to be built in Lauriston on the Canterbury Plains, New Zealand.
The solar project is on a 93-hectare site and, once operational, will power the equivalent of nearly 13,000 houses. According to the company, construction contracts have been confirmed, initial work is underway, and procurement of key equipment has started. The expected construction costs are approximately $104 million.
The joint venture also signed a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Genesis Energy to take all the renewable energy from the site.
The debt funding is provided by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) and MUFG Bank (MUFG). The joint venture has selected BEON to construct the project, with initial works already underway.
FRV Australia CEO Carlo Frigerio said: “We are thrilled to announce this significant milestone for Lauriston Solar Farm. This marks our inaugural financial closing in New Zealand, serving as the cornerstone for FRV Australia and Genesis development efforts. It is a pivotal moment for both our presence in the country and the solar industry, which is just beginning to take root.” FRV Australia is co-owned by Canadian pension fund and infrastructure investor OMERS.
According to Mercom’s 9M and Q3 2023 Solar Funding and M&A Report, the announced large-scale project funding in the first nine months of 2023 came to $27.5 billion in 169 project funding deals, a 20% increase compared to $22.9 billion in 128 projects in 9M 2022.
Mytilineos, a Greek industrial conglomerate, recently reached the financial close for its 588 MW non-recourse solar park portfolio in Chile. The financing was secured from lenders BNP Paribas, Intesa San Paolo, Sumitomo Mitsubishi Banking Corporation, Rabobank, and Santander Chile.