- The Tastiota solar PV plant is one of the first utility-scale projects in Mexico under project finance to use bifacial photovoltaic modules and it is expected to commence commercial operations at the end of 2020.
Enertis, a leading global consulting and engineering company in the renewable energy sector, acted as Technical Advisor for Canadian Solar Inc and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) in the US$93 million non-recourse financing of the 126 MWp Tastiota solar PV project located in the state of Sonora, Mexico.
The Tastiota financing package consists of a US$67 million senior loan, US$15 million letter of credit facility and a US$12 million VAT facility covering the construction and operational phase of the project.
The Tastiota solar PV plant is one of the first utility-scale projects in Mexico to use bifacial photovoltaic modules and it is expected to commence commercial operations at the end of 2020. A 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) has been secured for the project during the third energy tender carried out in Mexico in 2017, therefore the clean electricity generated by the plant will be sold to the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).
To support Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation during the financing process, Enertis brought together a multidisciplinary team of experts to review a series of technical aspects such as solar resource and energy production estimates, project agreements, equipment, permits, main contractors, site conditions, technical design or financial model, among others, assisting in minimising the project technical risks and in adapting the project structure to the relatively novel bifacial technology.
“We are delighted to partner with SMBC and Canadian Solar, two leading actors in the international renewable space, contributing with Enertis’ expertise to this pioneer solar PV project in Mexico, especially during these unusual times. Mexico has excellent technical conditions for the deployment of highly competitive projects, and we are pleased to contribute to accelerate the energy transition towards a more sustainable model in the region” said Alvaro Velasco, Regional Manager – Mexico, Central America and Colombia at Enertis.
“We thank Enertis for supporting us as Technical Advisor for the Tastiota solar PV plant. The combination of their broad experience and knowledge of the industry, as well as their responsiveness, allowed us to received sound and valued professional advice on the project. We look forward to continuing our collaboration as we expand our activity internationally” said Javier García, Sr. EPC Director EMEA & LATAM, Energy Group of Canadian Solar.
Luis Fernando Perdigón, Managing Director and General Manager, Head of Latin America, SMBC Americas Division, said, “SMBC highly appreciates the partnership of Enertis and the sponsors, Canadian Solar, Korea Electric Power Corporation, and Sprott Korea, on the successful closing of this project that has a number of milestones. Tastiota Solar is SMBC’s first financing for the third clean energy auction in Mexico and the first soft mini-perm that our Bank has structured with the sponsors for a power project in Latin America utilizing Canadian Solar’s bifacial panels. It is also SMBC’s first closing of a deal with a Korean asset management company, Sprott Korea, as a key sponsor in Latin America. It was a pleasure for SMBC and our team, led by Dorian Calderon, Head of Power & Renewables of Latin America Project Finance, to support Enertis and the sponsors.”
Enertis has already participated in the financing of three utility-scale PV projects using bifacial modules in Mexico and is quite active in the provision of technical services in the region, such as Engineering Designs, Owner’s Engineering or Quality Assurance.