(Atlas Renewable Energy, 26.Oct.2020) — Atlas Renewable Energy obtained a $67 million loan from IDB Invest, member of IDB Group, and from DNB Bank ASA (Norway) to finance the construction of Jacaranda, a 187MWp solar project being developed by Atlas Renewable Energy in Brazil, marking the first time that a Brazilian solar project has been fully financed in US dollars.
The loan was secured from IDB Invest, including the Clean Technology Fund and the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in the Americas – Phase II, both administered by IDB Invest which provided a portion of the loan, together with a participation from DNB Bank ASA. This loan will finance the construction of the Jacaranda solar project, located in the municipality of Juazeiro, State of Bahia. The plant will generate 440GWh per year, which is enough to supply power to a city of over 750,000 inhabitants and avoid approximately 35,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year based on the GHG (Green House Gases) Protocol, and is also the equivalent of removing 36,800 vehicles from the streets of São Paulo in the same period of time.
Jacaranda has a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with a Brazilian subsidiary of the American material science giant Dow Inc. This PPA will provide clean energy to Aratu, one of the largest production sites Dow has in Brazil. The agreement between Dow and Atlas Renewable Energy is an innovative solution which will provide 24-hour clean energy to a private offtaker. It achieves this by swapping energy from Jacaranda with other renewable energy providers, guaranteeing a full cycle supply.
Alongside this unique solution that addresses the main concern of solar intermittency, Atlas Renewable Energy has created a financing structure aimed at providing even more price certainty to its client by securing a US dollar financing. This deal also falls under Atlas Renewable Energy’s Green Finance Framework – a testament to the company’s commitment to developing projects that protect and preserve the environment while adhering to the highest standards of social and environmental engagement.
The innovative approach is present in every aspect of the project and goes from using bifacial modules technology, enhancing the plant’s efficiency and reducing land use, to connecting the project to the first digital substation in Brazil already installed within the company’s Eng. Manoel de Andrade solar plant, adjacent to Jacaranda.
Furthermore, in line with Atlas Renewable Energy’s commitment to an ambitious social engagement agenda, the company has declared plans to offer opportunities to the local community that promote diversity and inclusion within the construction’s hiring process. In order to achieve this, the company has engaged NGOs and local authorities to provide training in specialized fields to local women, aiming to quadruplicate the female workforce in solar projects and provide them access to more technical jobs. Likewise, the company is mobilizing its local contractors to prioritize afro descendants and minorities in the hiring process.
“It is an honor to partner with such high-caliber financial institutions and to work once again with IDB Invest and DNB Bank”, said Carlos Barrera, Atlas Renewable Energy’s CEO, who continued: “this financing is an industry first and is a great example of Atlas working with our partners to find innovative solutions for our clients that add significant value to their business while providing clean energy. We are also extremely proud of the unique diversity program that we have designed with IDB Invest to push the envelope in promoting gender and racial diversity. We look forward to continuing to raise the bar and to structuring unique solutions that provide large-energy consumers with a competitive edge while accelerating the energy transition towards clean energy in Latin America.”
Gian Franco Carassale, Chief of Infrastructure and Energy Division for IDB Invest commented, “Atlas Renewable Energy is a strategic client of IDB Invest. We share many core values including the need to reverse climate change through renewable energy investments and through such investments create better opportunities for women and communities such as afro descendants. The Jacaranda Solar Power Project is another example of Atlas Renewable Energy’s commitment to these values and IDB Invest’s and DNB Market’s capacity to deliver innovative financing solutions in the region.”
“DNB Bank and DNB Markets are very proud of supporting Atlas Renewable Energy in this milestone transaction in Brazil with both USD and BRL participations together with IDB Invest, a financing that falls under the Green Finance Framework implemented by Atlas Renewable Energy and advised on the structure by DNB Markets” said Emilio Fabbrizzi, Managing Director at DNB Markets in New York.