Climate action: EIB finances construction of one of Spain's largest solar plants in Cáceres

21-12-2018, 11:15 | Comments: 0
- The EIB is granting a EUR 70m Juncker Plan loan to Talasol Solar to build and operate the plant in Talaván
- This is one of the first photovoltaic energy projects to be financed in Spain outside renewable energy auctions
- The plant will be operational in 2020 and will create 500 jobs during the implementation phase

The municipality of Talaván in Cáceres will be home to one of Spain's largest solar photovoltaic power plants, and one of the first in the country to be financed outside renewable energy auctions. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is financing this project with a EUR 70m Juncker Plan loan with the aim of helping to combat climate change. When it starts operating in 2020, this new plant will prevent the release of 263 000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere a year by generating electricity using solar energy.

The EIB is granting this EUR 70m in financing to Talasol Solar via a project finance arrangement making it possible to build and operate the new facility. The solar plant will have a capacity of 300 MW.

The project is under development by Ellomay Capital Ltd. and is a major step forward for the renewable energy sector in Spain as it is being financed at market rates. The EIB is providing this loan under the Investment Plan for Europe, known as the Juncker Plan. This increases the EIB Group’s capacity to finance investment projects that, in line with the Plan’s criteria, involve activities which by their structure or nature make it possible to support objectives such as combating climate change and ensuring sustainable economic growth.

The new Talaván solar photovoltaic plant will create new economic opportunities in the Extremadura region. The project will necessitate the employment of 500 people during the implementation phase and 15 on a permanent basis once the plant is operational. It will also help achieve the objectives set by the National Renewable Energy Action Plan, which states that 20% of the energy used in Spain in 2020 must come from renewable sources.

On the agreement, EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro said: “This project will help to increase electricity generation using solar energy, which is important for meeting European renewable energy goals in Spain, as well as for promoting sustainable growth and cutting carbon emissions. We are delighted to announce our support for this project just few days after the climate change conference held in Katowice, a great opportunity to show the world that the EIB is committed to the Paris Agreement and combating climate change. We will continue working to mobilise financing for climate action projects and to ensure that all of our activities are fully in line with the Paris objectives in 2020.”

EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete said: “This new Juncker Plan agreement couldn't be timelier, as last week in Katowice we showed the world how the EU can lead the fight against climate change, for a prosperous, competitive and climate neutral economy by 2050. And sustained investments in the energy of tomorrow are instrumental in this endeavour. We will ensure that no region is left behind, and I'm particularly glad to see that Extremadura will benefit from this great project in terms of growth, jobs and regional development.”

Ran Fridrich, CEO at Ellomay, said, “The execution of the financing agreement is a significant accomplishment and one of the final and major step forward in the Talasol Project. The Company is very pleased with the progress achieved so far in line with the planned schedule. Talasol is a pivotal project for Ellomay capital as it is bound to serve as a model for our continued growth in developing constructing and operating solar projects in Europe and Israel.”

Ori Rosenzweig, chief investment officer at Ellomay Capital, said, “The fact that two major banks, Deutsche Bank and EIB, are financing the project testifies for its significant success potential. I believe we have obtained the optimal funding terms required for the project that will set a new standard for the future solar energy production in Spain and Europe. Talasol couldn't reach this important milestone, without the positive support throughout the process from the Spanish government, local government and the municipality of Talaván. Needless to say, this has helped us move forward quickly and efficiently.”

The EIB and climate action

The EU bank is the multilateral institution that provides most finance for climate action worldwide. The EIB dedicates at least 25% of its total activities to this priority, a figure that increases to 35% for developing countries.

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