- The new photovoltaic power plants will have an installed capacity of 5.6 GW.
- The operation is supported by the InvestEU programme, which aims to trigger more than €372 billion in additional investments over the period 2021-2027.
- The first loan under this framework financing has been signed for a total amount of €278 million.
September 25, 2023
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved framework financing of up to €1.7 billion for Solaria to support the construction of some 120 photovoltaic power plants. Mostly located in Spain, as well as Italy and Portugal, they will have a total capacity of approximately 5.6 GW and will produce an estimated 9.29 TWh a year. The power plants are expected to come into operation by the end of 2028. This is Solaria’s most ambition financing operation to date.
The project is backed by the InvestEU programme, which aims to trigger more than €372 billion in additional investment over the period 2021-27. This operation comes under InvestEU’s Sustainable Infrastructure policy window and it will support the achievement of the EU’s policy objectives under the European Green Deal by providing electricity equivalent to the average annual demand of approximately 2.5 million households and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by around 3 million tonnes of CO2 a year. The project will contribute to social and economic cohesion, accelerate the green transition, and strengthen the security of energy supply in the European Union.
The operation has a long-term project finance structure involving the signature of several loans, which financial institutions will be able to participate in under the framework financing. The first loan under this framework financing has been signed for a total amount of €278 million for the construction of photovoltaic power plants with a total capacity of approximately 1.08 GW.
More than one-third of the installed capacity will be located in less developed regions. These are regions that have a GDP per capita that is less than 75% of the EU average. The project will significantly boost employment in the areas where the plants are to be built, creating around 11.100 jobs a year during the construction phase, according to EIB estimates.
The loan is part of the EIB’s dedicated package of support to the REPowerEU Plan, which is designed to end dependence on fossil fuel imports, by increasing energy efficiency, and ramping up production from renewables.
“This project covers three markets in the European Union, bearing testament to the EIB’s firm commitment to clean energy. We want to help ensure that Europeans have guaranteed energy supply security and access to sustainable energy,” said EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix during the signing event in Madrid. “As the EU climate bank, we are pleased to be joining forces again with Solaria. This operation contributes to foster the energy transition in the European Union while promoting economic and employment growth in less developed regions in Spain, Portugal and Italy, which have great potential for renewable energy.”
Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, said: “This important operation is a great demonstration of InvestEU’s ability to meaningfully support Europe’s transition to climate neutrality and energy independence. It will make available up to €1.7 billion of financing for new photovoltaic power plants in Spain, Italy and Portugal. This is good news both for the climate and for our economy: it will not only help to power millions of households with clean energy, but also create thousands of jobs in the construction phase in the relevant regions.”
“It is a source of great pride that the EIB has once again put its faith in us as we sign the largest financing in our history. With this €1.7 billion we will build 5.6 GW of solar photovoltaic capacity across Spain, Italy and Portugal to continue accelerating the energy transition,” said the President of Solaria Energía y Medio Ambiente, Enrique Díaz-Tejeiro. “This financing means we will have more than enough funding to meet our needs and achieve our roadmap target of 6.2 GW by 2025.”
The EIB and energy security
In 2022, the EIB Group committed financing of more than €17 billion for the energy transition in Europe. Projects in Spain received a record €3.1 billion in financing commitments for sustainable energy and natural resources in the same year, making it the second largest beneficiary in the European Union. These figures confirm the EU bank’s commitment to ensuring access to sustainable energy at a time of great uncertainty. Our investments are helping Europe weather the crisis triggered by the abrupt cut in gas supplies in the aftermath of Russia’s unjustified attack against Ukraine.
In July 2023, the EIB Board of Directors decided to raise the additional funds earmarked for projects aligned with REPowerEU, the plan designed to end Europe’s dependence on fossil fuel imports, to €45 billion. The additional funding comes on top of the EIB’s already substantial support for clean investments and represents a 50% increase compared to the original €30 billion package announced in October 2022.
The EIB board also decided to broaden the scope of eligible sectors to boost financing for EU manufacturing in state-of-the-art strategic net-zero technologies and the extraction, processing, and recycling of critical raw materials. The additional funding will be deployed by 2027 and, in total, is expected to mobilise more than €150 billion in investment for the targeted sectors.
Find out more about the EIB’s support for the energy sector here.