ACWA Power International (ACWA Power), a Saudi water and power developer, owner and operator, said yesterday it recently partnered with an affiliate of First Reserve Energy Infrastructure Fund and Clean Energy Transition Fund, a fund managed by Crescent Capital to acquire a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Plant located in Karadzhalovo, Bulgaria.
This PV plant operates within the parameters of the Renewable Energy Act of Bulgaria that was enacted in May 2011 whereby a Feed in Tariff (FiT) framework was established with a 20-year fixed tariff for plants operational by a given date. The plant, which was constructed by the US-based SunEdison utilizes poly crystalline silicon solar photovoltaic technology. The plant rated at a capacity of 60MWp is expected on average to produce 81,000 MWh per annum. The plant is operating since March 2012 and is already dispatching electricity to the Bulgarian power grid. The off-taker is the state National Electricity Company (NEK) of Bulgaria.
The project is funded with equity and debt capital. Debt is funded on a non-recourse basis by three financial institutions; International Finance Corporation, the private sector affiliate of the World Bank; Overseas Private Investment Corporation of the United States and UniCredit of Italy. The company in which ACWA Power has the 42 percent controlling interest will own the solar plant. Quite separately the plant will be operated by a new company formed in Bulgaria by NOMAC, a subsidiary of ACWA Power, and SunEdison in which both companies will have equal shares of ownership.
Paddy Padmanathan, president and CEO of ACWA Power, said: "We are proud to enter not only our sixth international market but also our first investment in renewable energy. This Bulgaria PV IPP is yet another milestone in the company's history and helps to diversify the company's technology portfolio and fuel mix."
Aygen Yayikoglu, founder and managing partner of Crescent Capital, said: "We are delighted to be co-investing in such a landmark project, which we believe will set new standards of operational excellence in southeastern Europe."