The two individual transactions are an extension of an existing line and an interim financing for the acquisition and installation of a dedicated portfolio, which has been implemented with a new partner.
EUR 12 million will be used to finance the construction of 17 MWp of new photovoltaic projects in Poland, which have already been awarded a contract from the 2018 auction and are to be built and connected to the grid by April 2020. An existing funding line was increased from EUR 20 million to EUR 25 million. This now revolving credit line is available to the SUNfarming Group for approx. 3 years and is an essential building block for the realization of new projects and thus for further growth in Poland.
"With the conclusion of these two new facilities, we want to continue our growth after a successful year in 2018 and significantly increase our Polish portfolio to at least 150 MWp over the next two years", says Martin Tauschke, Managing Director and co-shareholder of the SUNfarming Group.
The Polish government recently extended the completion deadline for projects from the 2018 auction to November 2020, which has increased the likelihood of realization of many projects. In addition, a further PV auction will take place in December 2019 with a tender volume of 750 MW of solar capacity. According to current statistics, about 1 GWp is installed in the Polish market, of which about 500 MW are outdoor projects in the auction.
With 46 MW of projects already installed and after completion of projects under construction, SUNfarming has a market share of nearly 10% of realized auction projects in Poland.
SUNfarming successfully completed seven new projects in the auction system. The latest projects are located in the provinces of Lower Silesia, Greater Poland, Lodz and Lublin. These are three 1-megawatt solar parks erected in the Lask district of Lódz, as well as four 1-megawatt investments in the provinces of Dolnoslaskie and Lubelskie. In line with the auction commitments, all seven solar parks started producing energy in June.
"We are happy about another 7 megawatts of clean energy for Poland. We thank all involved for the efficient and professional cooperation. With a planned PV capacity of 1.2 GW by 2020 with currently only about 360 MW of installed capacity, Poland represents an important future market for us, "said Martin Tauschke, Managing Director of SUNfarming GmbH and SUNfarming Polska sp.zoo.. "Further,we were able to secure 35 megawatt solar parks during the auction process in November; the planned investments are to be completed by the end of 2019 / beginning of 2020. However, we do not want to rely only on the Polish auction process, but also rely on PPA's (Power Purchase Agreements) for the development of larger projects, "explains Martin Tauschke.
The Polish auctioning system of procurement and an internal policy based on renewable energies allow SUNfarming as a medium-sized company to support the expansion of renewable energies and to make profitable investments in Poland. SUNfarming started the construction of the first 4 megawatt solar parks in Poland at the end of December 2018. By winning the tender, all PV parks benefit from a 15-year "contract for differences" with the Polish Energy Agency URE, which guarantees a fixed feed-in tariff for each kWh produced by paying the difference to the market price.
Photovoltaics is becoming increasingly important among renewable energy sources in Poland as it is the cheapest energy that can be obtained with existing technologies. In addition, the use of fallow land and soils with low soil quality spares agricultural arable land.
The SUNfarming Group has secured a financing framework of 20 million euros for the construction of 40 MWp photovoltaic projects in Poland.
SUNfarming Polska plans to expand the existing solar portfolio in Poland this year with projects to at least 40 MWp. Predominantly, projects will be realized with won auctions from 2017 and 2018.
The first projects to be financed through the acquired line are four photovoltaic plants, each with 1 MWp and a total capacity of 4 MWp, in Ostrołęka. All plants were put into operation in December 2018 and were awarded a contract in the first Polish test tender at the end of 2016.
Another part of the financing is planned for new projects with a total capacity of 5 MWp, which are already in the portfolio of SUNfarming. Three SUNfarming solar parks, each with 1 MWp, are to be built near Łask in Łódź Province, two more solar parks in the province of Lower Silesia near Ząbkowice Śląskie. These projects have won in the tender of June 2017, completion is until 30.06.2019. By winning the tender, all PV parks benefit from a 15-year "contract for differences" with the Polish Energy Agency URE, which guarantees a fixed feed-in tariff for each kWh produced by paying the difference to the market price.
The financing facility of 20 million euros, which was taken up by the SUNfarming Group, is used to finance the construction phase of the existing and planned photovoltaic projects of SUNfarming in Poland and was collateralised at the level of a Polish asset holding company owned by the project companies. SUNfarming was supported by a well-known Financial Advisor from Frankfurt am Main, who was tasked with structuring the transaction and debt sourcing.
"We are pleased to announce the closing of this transaction, which we completed within 6 weeks of the turn of the year. We thank all involved for the efficient and professional cooperation. The bridging line enables us to consistently implement our strategy in Poland and accelerate our international growth. With a planned PV capacity of 1.2 GW by 2020 with currently only about 360 MW of installed capacity, Poland represents an important future market for us, "says Martin Tauschke, Managing Director of SUNfarming GmbH and SUNfarming Polska sp.z.o.o.>
The following article has been published in a Polish Renewable online magazine. Please read the english translation here:
The signs of the times. A 4 MW SUNfarming PV farm was built near the power station in Ostroleka
The project developer SUNfarming Polska launches four photovoltaic farms with a total capacity of 4 MW in the vicinity of the coal-fired power plant in Ostrołęka this month. SUNfarming is already preparing to build next PV farms in other parts of the country, while looking for opportunities to take over projects with winning auctions.
The launch of four solar farms in Ostrołęka by SUNfarming Polska this month is the result of guaranteeing support for these projects as a result of the first auction for renewable energy, which the Energy Regulatory Office carried out at the end of December 2016.
Under the terms of that auction, all the projects supported at that time must start generating energy by the end of 2018. In the case of projects implemented near Ostrołęka, this condition will be met, and solar farms will start to transfer energy to the PGE Dystrybucja network this month. The entire PV farm complex will produce 4 GWh of electricity per year.
Photovoltaic farms set up by Sunfarming Polska were established in the areas where previously a furnace waste landfill was located. It was formed from the combustion of coal at the power plant in Ostrołęka.
The use of photovoltaics in this place will make it possible to develop areas that are not suitable for use for other types of activities, because they were a landfill of slag and ashes for 35 years.
Currently, SUNfarming Polska is preparing for the construction of further solar farms, for which support was guaranteed in the auction system thanks to the second auction conducted by URE (The Energy Regulatory Office) in June 2017.
It is about three photovoltaic farms that will be built near Łask in the province Łódz. In addition, two PV farms will be built near Ząbkowice Śląskie in the province Lower Silesia. The purchase of a sixth project with public guarantees of energy sales in the auction system is also being finalized.
In line with the liabilities resulting from the auction conducted in June last year, these solar farms must start producing energy by mid-2019.
SUNfarming Polska is looking for opportunities to acquire new projects that can be completed by the middle of next year. The company is also interested in purchasing further PV projects, for which the possibility of settlements in the auction system was guaranteed in the last auction of November this year.
By expanding its portfolio, SUNfarming Polska plans to build a PV farm in Poland with a total capacity of around 20 MW.
Ostrołęka is located at the intersection of national roads from the center and from the south of Poland in the north-east direction. The city has a direct road connection with Warsaw, Olsztyn and Bialystok, from which it is about 120 km away. Ostrołęka is a municipality with 53,000 inhabitants.
The coal burning of the power plants in Ostrołęka has resulted in landfills for ash and slag. 4 megawatt SUNfarming free-field plants are currently being built on these former landfills, which have been fallow for 35 years. The use of landfill sites for the production of green electricity is at the same time a meaningful and sustainable reuse, valuable areas of arable land are spared. The facilities in Ostrołęka were fenced for protection. SUNfarming, with lease agreements limited to 29 years, also takes over the long-term care and safeguarding of landfills. Up to 40 fitters and technicians work at the same time on the construction site, planned completion date is 03 December 2018. These 4x1 MW are projects that have been awarded in the first auction round and must be on the net by 31.12.2018.
With the produced energy amount of 4 million kWh, SUNfarming saves CO2 emissions of approximately 2.20 million kilograms per year, which corresponds to the output of approx. 930 mid-range cars.The amount of energy produced in this way is enough to supply more than 1,600 2-person households in the region with clean electricity from solar energy.
"We are pleased to have set the starting signal for our commitment in Poland with the installation of this 4 MW. More than 1.5 years of market and project development are behind us, so we are all the more pleased about the start of the realization. For 2019, we now have a further 6 MW of project rights in the portfolio, with more to follow, "explains Martin Tauschke, Managing Director of SUNfarming GmbH and SUNfarming Polska sp.z.o.o.
SUNfarming GmbH has initiated an energy cluster in Poland, which was founded in early 2018.
The mayor of Slublice, Tomasz Ciszewicz, has signed the first contracts for the establishment of so-called energy clusters for the municipalities of Slublice. With the founding of the cluster, PV plants and biogas plants with a total output of 15 megawatts can be planned for the region's own supply in the five partner municipalities. The energy cluster coordination will be carried out by the joint venture partner of SUNfarming, LEMA Finance sp.z.o.o.
About energy cluster
The simultaneous production of solar energy and biogas energy creates regional energy islands that are independent of the grid and at the same time can feed energy surpluses into the upstream grid.
Another advantage of starting a cluster is the co-ordination of electricity generation, distribution and trade, supply and demand for electricity and gas.
"Our plan is for our residents to benefit from renewable energy thanks to the cluster, which reduces CO2 as well as other types of pollution such as dust, dioxide, sulfur, oxidants, pollution directly and indirectly affecting our health," says Tomasz Ciszewicz, mayor of Słubice.
"We are pleased to have been able to win the Slubice Municipality for the Energy Cluster with us and our partners, especially as our Polish representative office with SUNfarming Polska sp.z.o.o. Also located in Slubice, just 80km or 1 hour from the headquarter near Berlin, "says Martin Tauschke, Managing Director of SUNfarming GmbH and SUNfarming Polska sp.z.o.o. firmly. "We are already planning other energy clusters, which are particularly supported by the policy in Warsaw," continues Martin Tauschke.