Ecoenergy closes €60 million funding facility for 155MW Romanian solar project

The Ratesti solar project will have the largest capacity of any operating solar farm in Romania. Credit: Econergy

Israel-headquartered independent power producer (IPP) Ecoenergy has closed a €60 million (US$65.5 million) funding facility with Austrian bank Raiffeisen for its 155MW Ratesti solar project in Romania.

The company purchased the project in November 2021, when it was at the ready-to-build stage, and has since invested €102 million into its construction. Ecoenergy expects the to connect the project, which will have the largest capacity of any solar farm in Romania, to the country’s energy grid “imminently”.

The IPP also noted that the funding facility is the first such renewable power deal to have been signed without a related power purchase agreement (PPA).

“The signing of the financing agreement marks another significant milestone in the journey of the Ratesti project and Econergy,” said Ecoenergy co-founder and CEO Eyal Podhorzer. “The financing agreement will allow Econergy to draw €30 million from the project company. The next significant milestone is the project’s connection, which is expected imminently.”

Ecoenergy also noted that it has provided engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to the project, and plans to manage the facility for the next ten years. It also expects the facility to generate an average annual revenue of €20.1 million for the first five years of its operation, and drive total earnings of €17.6 million.

The news is the latest encouraging development in the Romanian solar sector. At an industry event in May this year, the Romanian Photovoltaic Industry Association (RPIA) announced that 1.4GW of capacity had been installed in the country, and the RPIA expects this figure to reach 2.5GW by the end of this year and 11.2GW by the end of the decade.

However, the sector has experienced setbacks, including state-owned electric utility Hidroelectrica scrapping what would have been the country’s largest single-site solar park earlier this week. The company planned to build a 1.5GW project in southern Romania, but noted that uncertainty over the project’s legal status had made it “impossible to conclude the contract”, raising questions as to the long-term future of the Romanian solar sector.

(The above content is reproduced from pv-tech,ByJP Casey


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