AES joint venture finances $752 million in solar projects

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AES Solar, a joint venture of Arlington-based AES Corp. and Riverstone Holdings LLC, announced Monday that it has completed financing of $752 million worth of solar photovoltaic power plants, making it one of the largest owners and operators of utility-scale, solar plants.

The financings, which include a 266-megawatt PV power plant in Imperial Valley, Calif., a 22.4 megawatt portfolio of three plants in France and a corporate revolving credit facility for AES Solar, bring AES Solar’s global portfolio to more than 500 megawatts in operation or under construction in seven countries.

Construction began on the Mount Signal Solar projects in Imperial County last week and is expected to be operational by early 2014. It will sell its output to San Diego Gas & Electric Co. The plant was financed with a $416 million long-term institutional tranche and a $220 million cash grant loan.

“We are pleased to have begun construction of this important solar project. It is the first of several that we look forward to developing in the Imperial Valley,” Bob Hemphill, CEO of AES Solar, said in a statement. “This project doubles the size of our company’s portfolio and will provide electricity to over 65,000 homes in California.”

Last month, AES Solar closed on a $90 million, multiborrower financing for the three plants in France, which began commercial operations in the first half of 2012. The credit facility was used refinance equity invested during construction.

The third transaction was a $26 million corporate revolving credit facility, which will be used to provide working capital and financial flexibility for AES Solar.

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