55 million euro loan represents the first green loan project financing under the grid-parity regime in Italy.
The 87.5 MW group of plants in central Italy will generate enough clean energy to meet the needs of 63,000 households annually, offsetting in excess of 100,000 tons of greenhouse gases
EOS Investment Management (EOS IM), an independent international group specialising in clean energy infrastructure and private equity alternative investment funds with a focus on sustainability, and Capital Dynamics, an independent global private asset management firm and one of the world's leading clean energy investors, have been granted with a loan of over 55 million euros by UniCredit and ING, who acted as Mandated Lead Arrangers & Bookrunners e Sustainability Coordinators. The 15-year green loan is supported by SACE's green guarantee. SACE is the Italian Export Credit Agency specialized in supporting the growth and development of businesses and the national economy through a wide range of tools and solutions to improve competitiveness in Italy and worldwide. The loan provides financing for the construction and commissioning of renewable energy production plants located in Lazio, Italy. The plants will operate at grid-parity and represent one of the largest subsidy-free solar photovoltaic development projects in Italy.
The industrial scale plants will have a combined total generating capacity of over 87.5 MW, which is the equivalent to the annual requirements of 63 thousand households. These projects contribute directly to 5 of 17 of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, including health and wellbeing, affordable and clean energy, innovation and infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities, and climate protection measures.
The transaction represents a significant milestone for sustainable energy, with ING and UniCredit having granted the first project finance green loan in Italy. The long-term loan includes substantial innovations for this type of asset, as well as the first financing of this size for solar photovoltaic plants without government subsidies.
Thanks to the positive impact in terms of climate change mitigation, the financed interventions fall within the goals of the Green New Deal, the plan that promotes a circular, modern, sustainable and resilient Europe. SACE, the institution supporting the development of the country's system, plays a central role in the implementation of the Green New Deal in Italy. The company led by Pierfrancesco Latini, indeed, can issue 'green guarantees' on domestic projects capable of facilitating the transition towards an economy with a lower environmental impact, integrating production cycles with low-emission technologies for the production of sustainable goods and services, and promoting initiatives aimed at developing a new mobility with lower polluting emissions.
"Our investment strategy is proving to be particularly effective: in addition to securing the most significant grid parity and greenfield projects in Italy, we are able to have excellent access to the European banking channel together with the most dynamic counterparties for long-term PPAs", commented Giuseppe La Loggia, Senior Partner at EOS IM Group Clean Energy Infrastructure. "We believe it is fundamental to maintain a strong industrial approach, with a vision of utilising finance that looks at the real economy and is able to actively contribute to the objectives of the European ecological transition, identifying and structuring - with our partners - the best technical-financial ways to invest in the on-going energy transition to sustainable power generation", added Giuseppe La Loggia.
"As one of the leading renewable energy investors in Europe, we are pleased to see such a strong appetite from private sector investors and lenders to participate in the clean energy transition," said Dario Bertagna, Managing Director and Co-Head of Capital Dynamics Clean Energy. "Reaching grid parity with subsidy-free projects like these helps us make clean energy sources more affordable, benefiting both investors and our local communities. We look forward to deploying more capital into our extensive deal pipeline of solar and wind projects in southern Europe."
"Thanks to our involvement and our collaboration with UniCredit and ING - said Daniela Cataudella Head of SACE's Green Task Force - it will be possible to complete a project that has important benefits for the territory, serving the annual energy needs of approximately 63,000 households in the Lazio region as well as contributing to the sustainable development of the entire country. This transaction confirms SACE's commitment to the transition to an economy with lower polluting emissions, as manager of the Italian Green New Deal and within the framework of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan guidelines ".
"For ING, the financing of this important project represents the first step towards the future of non-incentivized renewable sources; the experience gained during this transaction lays the foundations for a new approach to the green world by revolutionizing the paradigm that made the incentive an essential and indispensable element ". Commented Valerio Capizzi, Head of Energy EMEA at ING. "We are extremely proud to have supported EOS IM and Capital Dynamics in this complex transaction - said Matteo Pietropoli, UniCredit Global Head of Power & Infrastructure Financing - which confirms our leadership, in Italy and in Europe, in structured financing solutions connected to the ESG objectives. This transaction testifies our commitment to support projects, in particular in grid parity and greenfield, able to facilitate the transition to an economy with a lower environmental impact and to contribute to increase the share of energy produced from renewable sources in our country, all in line with the strategic objectives of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan".