The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will allocate $45m to finance the construction and commissioning of Solem I and Solem II, two photovoltaic solar energy power plants with a combined capacity of 350 MWp that will connect with the Mexican national network of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).
Solem I and Solem II will contribute to Mexico's aim of reaching 35% of the energy generated by the country from clean sources by 2024. The plants will be built in the municipality of El Llano, state of Aguascalientes, Mexico. Once completed, both plants will together constitute one of the largest photovoltaic solar energy project in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The sponsors of Solem I and Solem II are Cubico Sustainable Investments Ltd. and Alten RE Developments America. The financing plan also includes loans from the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, the Chinese Co-financing Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Canadian Private Sector Climate Fund (C2F), the National Bank for Public Works and Services (Banobras), the National Bank for Foreign Trade (Bancomext), and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG). The total amount of non-recourse project finance debt raised was of US$ 230 million.
Ricardo Diaz, Managing Director and Head of Americas at Cubico Sustainable Investments, said: "We are very proud of having reached this ground-breaking milestone, confirming Cubico’s leadership in the renewable energy sector in Mexico. We now plan to consolidate our presence in the market supporting the government and selected local developers to achieve their clean energy ambitions in the country, as we are doing in the rest of the region".
Gabriel Goldschmidt, Latin America and Caribbean Infrastructure Regional Industry Head for IFC, commented: “Solem has given us the opportunity to further IFC’s first mover role in supporting private sector involvement in the power sector in Mexico, which started with the Independent Power Producer framework in the 1990s and continued more recently with the financing of pioneering private sector sponsored wind and solar power generation projects. Solem I and II are two of first renewable energy projects to reach financial close under a reformed power sector framework and as such exemplify the tangible results of successful structural reform coupled with transparency and competitive processes.”
IFC has invested in around 60 solar projects worldwide with 1400 MW of capacity, with key transactions in Thailand, the Philippines, India, China, Jordan, South Africa, Mexico, Honduras, and Chile. IFC's portfolio in Mexico amounts to US$1.293 billion.