17 Nov 2020 .

Natural Power advises on Europe’s largest unsubsidised solar project: Solara4

Solara 4 solar farm in Portugal

Natural Power has acted as lender’s technical adviser for the financing of the 220 MW Solara4 solar farm in Portugal. This is a landmark project in the European solar market and will be Europe’s largest unsubsidised solar project when completed in 2021.

The project is being developed by WElink and the lenders are Investec and Kommunalkredit.

Hannah Staab, Natural Power’s head of advisory – Europe, said: “We were delighted to support WElink, Investec and Kommunalkredit on this financing. Due to its size and complexity, the project is not without challenges, and we were able to draw on the expertise of our global solar team to mitigate technical risks and work with our clients to resolve issues. We look forward to supporting the project until it reaches commercial operations in 2021.”

The due diligence and energy yield assessment were led by Natural Power’s UK team, with site inspections carried out by Natural Power’s French team. We are continuing to support the lenders by providing construction monitoring throughout the remainder of the construction phase.

Gregor Hogarth, technical manager – Investments and Transactions Europe at WELink Energy, said: “I was pleased with the speed, diligence and flexibility shown by Natural Power, which was coupled with excellent communication throughout. We hope to continue working with Natural Power on our strong pipeline of projects.”

Stefan Rattensperger, power and infrastructure finance at Investec added: “The entire Natural Power team has been an absolute pleasure to work with – experienced, professional and truly impartial, with a commercial view on project risks and a systematic approach to resolving them. The team went out of its way in visiting site, during difficult times, and where necessary challenged the contractor. It would be a privilege to work with the team again on similar projects.”

Solara4 will be the largest unsubsidised plant in Europe and amongst the top 20 largest solar PV plants in the world. Covering a total area of 400 hectares and utilising 660,000 solar modules, Solara4 will generate enough electricity to power 200,000 homes. Construction of interconnection infrastructure started during 2018 and the PV site in January 2019. The plant will be operational in Q2 2021.

Our global due diligence team provides services throughout all stages of the transaction cycle, from initial risk assessment and reporting in early transaction stages through to comprehensive reporting for credit-committee or data room presentation at final bid stage or financial close. Find out more here