Impax New Energy Investors ("NEI") today announces that during July it has acquired 15.5MW of operating solar PV projects in three transactions in the Spanish regions of Extremadura and Castilla-la-Mancha .
These acquisitions add to 15.6MW of solar PV projects that the NEI bought in May and June, including 3MW in Extremadura and two projects totalling 12.6MW in Castilla-la Mancha. In 2007 NEI also purchased ca. 4MW now operational in the Toledo region.
Based on these six transactions in the past three months, Impax New Energy Investors has now invested in just over 35MW of built and operating solar PV projects in Spain.
"We are now invested in a diversified portfolio of Spanish PV companies that has a total enterprise value of almost €300 million," said Peter van Egmond Rossbach, Director of Investments at Impax Asset Management, the Manager of NEI.
The projects sell power to either Iberdrola or Union Fenosa under Spain's 40-year feed-in tariff - the RD661 - now set at €455 per MWh and escalating at a Spanish inflation index, which for much of 2008 has exceeded 4.5% on an annualised basis.
"Solar PV projects are reliable and relatively easy to operate and manage over a 25-40 year life span, requiring some site and financial management but relatively low downtime for maintenance or repairs," said Rossbach. "We are very pleased with the project economics, the strong production performance of the plants to date, and the role of Iberdrola's affiliate Iberinco as our engineering partner," he added.
Following a highly profitable exit from a minority equity interest in the wind-energy developer Airtricity, sold for over €1.08 billion to Scottish and Southern this February, NEI has shifted focus to the solar sector, although it retains an investment in an 80MW German wind farm.
"The Spanish PV market is currently very active but volatile. The market predicts that Spain will have a hiatus in project development as there is currently no clear or attractive tariff available for projects completed after this September. We feel we've achieved maximum value by closing this deal now," added Rossbach.
The Fund has a €500m deal pipeline in the sector across Europe.
About Impax New Energy Investors:
Impax New Energy Investors LP is a €125 million private equity fund focused on renewable energy infrastructure, managed by Impax Asset Management and sponsored by Dexia Credit Local of France.
The Fund targets the significant investment opportunities arising from EU targets for renewable energy supply, and may invest in construction or operating assets, and acquisition companies owning such project assets.
About Impax Group plc:
Impax Group plc (Impax) was founded in 1994 as a specialist finance house focusing on the markets for cleaner or more efficient delivery of basic services of energy, water and waste. These markets are expanding rapidly, as business and political leaders encourage the development of cleaner products and services in response to the increasing pressures placed on the environment.
Impax Asset Management (the trading entity of Impax Group) manages or advises circa £1.2 billion of assets for institutional and private investors, across a range of listed and private equity funds.
For further information please visit: www.impax.co.uk
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