SunEdison and partner close financing on Ontario project

SunEdison and an equity partner have closed financing on a 10-MW solar project that conforms with Ontario’s renewable energy incentives and green energy manufacturing requirements.

SunEdison is a solar energy services provider and a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. (NYSE: WFR). SunEdison and Firelight Infrastructure Partners said they have reached financial close under a construction and term debt credit facility for a 10-MW solar project in Ontario.

The project is currently under construction and owned by SunEdison and Firelight as equity partners. Deutsche Bank acted as the private placement agent and the transaction was supported by a consortium of lenders. Located on 87.5 acres of land in Norfolk County, Ontario, the 10 MW solar facility is expected to generate approximately 14 GWh hours of clean energy each year, which is enough to power more than 1,000 homes.

Ontario has an aggressive feed-in tariff (FIT) program that has created demand for new project construction. The province also has a 50% local content provision that has developed local manufacturing of solar modules.

“In addition to the environmental benefits, this is another great example of how the FIT program is helping to create and sustain jobs in Ontario,” said SunEdison Canada Vice President and Country Manager Michael Dilworth. “In addition to utilizing local labor for approximately 85 contract construction jobs and ongoing operations, all of the solar panels used for the project are made right here in the province. Also making the project unique for us is the use of a private placement approach, which opens up new sources of financing for SunEdison and broadens the lending market for solar assets in Canada.”

Construction of the project began on Sept. 4 and is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2013.Once completed, the project will utilize more than 43,500 polycrystalline solar PV modules – all of which will be supplied by SunEdison’s parent company, MEMC, and will be manufactured in Ontario. SunEdison will also be responsible for ongoing operations and maintenance services.

This is SunEdison’s second utility scale project to be built in Ontario under the FIT program. All power generated will be sold to the Ontario Power Authority. Upon commercial operation in early 2013, Firelight will become the sole project owner.