(MENAFN Press) ACWA Power International (ACWA Power), the Saudi Water and Power developer, owner and operator, today announced that on 28thJune, 2012 it partnered with an affiliate of First Reserve Energy Infrastructure Fundand Clean Energy Transition Fund, a fund managed by Crescent Capital to acquireaSolar Photovoltaic (PV) Plant located in Karadzhalovo, Bulgaria.
This PV plant operates within the parameters of the Renewable Energy Act of Bulgaria that was enacted in May 2011 whereby aFeed in Tariff (FiT) framework was established with a 20-year fixed tariff for plants operational by a given date. The plant, which was constructed by SunEdison of USA utilizes poly crystalline silicon solar photovoltaic technology.
The plant rated at a capacity of 60MWp is expected on average to produce 81,000 MWh per annum. The plant is operating since March 2012 and is already dispatching electricity to the Bulgarian power grid. The off-taker is the state National Electricity Company (NEK) of Bulgaria.
The project is funded with equity and debt capital. Debt is funded on a non-recourse basis by three financial institutions; International Finance Corporation, the private sector affiliate of the World Bank; Overseas Private Investment Corporation of the USA and UniCredit of Italy.
The solar plant will be owned by the company in which ACWA Power has the 42% controlling interest. Quite separately the plant will be operated by a new company formed in Bulgaria by NOMAC, a subsidiary of ACWA Power, and SunEdison in which both companies will have equal shares of ownership.
Beside bringing foreign direct investment into Bulgaria and creating new jobs, the project will inject socio economic activity in the vicinity of the plant through the Operation and Maintenance Company.
Over 50% of the installed power generation capacity of Bulgaria of 10 GW uses coal as the primary fuel which in turn emits approximately 0.6 tons of CO2 per MWh of electricity produced. This PV plant which is expected to deliver 81,000 MWh per year will thus avoid emission of approximately 48,600 tons per year of CO2 emissions contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emission and also improving air quality of the country.
Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO of ACWA Power stated that "We are proud to enter not only our sixth international market but also our first investment in renewable energy.
Today we own majority stakes in fully operational assets in Oman and Jordan and projects under advanced development in Morocco, Turkey and South Africa in addition to our assets in Saudi Arabia. This Bulgaria PV IPP is yet another milestone in the company's history and helps to diversify the company's technology portfolioand fuel mix."
Aygen Yayikoglu, Founder and Managing Partner of Crescent Capital stated: "Building on our successful cooperation with ACWA Power in the Turkish market, we are delighted to be co-investing in such a landmark project, which we believe will set new standards of operational excellence in South Eastern Europe".