SolarReserve LLC, a closely held U.S. solar-energy developer, closed on $586 million in equity and debt financing for two South African projects.
FirstRand Bank Ltd. led the debt funding for the Letsatsi and Lesedi projects, Santa Monica, California-based SolarReserve said in an e-mailed statement today. Equity financing, which accounts for 25 percent of the total, was provided by SolarReserve and its project partners, Kensani Capital Investments and Intikon Energy, along with IDEAS Managed Fund and GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd.
The projects are expected to begin operating in mid-2014 and will provide electricity to Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., South Africa’s state-owned utility, for 20 years, according to the statement. The 75-megawatt solar farms will use photovoltaic panels from Hanwha SolarOne Co., Kevin Smith, SolarReserve’s chief executive officer, said in an interview in San Francisco today.
The South African Energy Department in December selected the projects under the first round of bidding for the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme. The agency is seeking projects totaling 3,725 megawatts of capacity through multiple rounds of bidding.