Monday, November 12, 2012

AES Solar Completes Debt Financings Totaling over $750 Million


ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AES Solar, a joint venture of The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) and Riverstone Holdings LLC, announced today that it has completed three financings totaling $752 million, including a project financing of a 266 megawatt (“MW”) solar photovoltaic (“PV”) power plant in the United States, a project financing of a 22.4 MW portfolio of three solar PV power plants in France and a corporate revolving credit facility for AES Solar. AES Solar’s global portfolio now totals more than 500 MW in operation or construction in seven countries, making AES Solar one of the world’s largest owners and operators of utility-scale, solar PV power plants. Note that references to MW are in direct current ("DC").

Last week, AES Solar completed financing for and began construction of the Mount Signal Solar project (also known as Imperial Valley Solar 1, or IVS1), a 266 MW utility-scale solar photovoltaic generating plant in Imperial County, California. The project is expected to be fully operational in early 2014, and it will sell its output to San Diego Gas & Electric Company pursuant to a long-term power purchase agreement. Mount Signal Solar was co-developed with 8minutenergy Renewables, LLC (“8minutenergy”) and represents the first of several fully-permitted projects in Imperial County that AES Solar is pursuing with 8minutenergy. The financing was structured in two tranches: a $416 million long-term institutional tranche led by Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. as Joint Lead Placement Agents and Rabo Securities USA, Inc. and DNB Markets Inc. as Co-Placement Agents, and a $220 million cash grant loan provided by Morgan Stanley Senior Funding and Citibank, N.A. Rabobank International and DNB Bank ASA also provided related letters of credit as part of the project financing.

"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," said Bob Hemphill, CEO of AES Solar. "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 a €70 million ($90 million), multi-borrower, non-recourse financing of a 22.4 MW portfolio in France. HSH Nordbank was the Lead Arranger for this 18-year facility. The portfolio consists of a 12 MW solar PV parking-lot project located near Toulouse, an 8.7 MW solar PV parking-lot project located near Lyon and a 1.7 MW ground-mount solar PV project also near Toulouse. All three solar PV power plants achieved commercial operation in the first half of 2012. The credit facility was used to refinance equity invested during construction.

The third transaction, which also closed in October 2012, is AES Solar’s first corporate facility consisting of a €20 million ($26 million) medium-term revolver, which will be used to provide working capital and additional financial flexibility for AES Solar. The Lead Arranger of the facility is Goldman Sachs Bank USA.

“The combination of these several financings demonstrates the breadth of AES Solar’s business activities across markets, solar PV plant configurations and sizes,” said Becky Cranna, CFO of AES Solar. “We look forward to creatively providing more of the world’s energy through solar PV power plants.”

AES Solar is one of the world’s largest owners and operators of utility-scale, solar PV power plants. The additional four projects in the United States and France will increase AES Solar’s portfolio to over 500 MW in operation or construction in the USA, Italy, Spain, France, Bulgaria, India and Greece.

About AES Solar

AES Solar is a joint venture between The AES Corporation and Riverstone Holdings, LLC formed to develop, own and operate utility-scale solar power plants. AES Solar currently has 256 MW in operations in the USA, Italy, Spain, France, Bulgaria, India, and Greece with substantial development activity in the United States and in other countries. For more information, visit www.aes-solar.com.

About Riverstone Holdings LLC

Founded in 2000, Riverstone Holdings LLC is an energy and power-focused private equity firm with $23 billion of equity capital raised across seven investment funds and co-investments, including the world's largest renewable energy fund. Riverstone conducts buyout and growth capital investments in the midstream, exploration & production, oilfield services, power and renewable sectors of the energy industry. With offices in New York, London and Houston, the firm has committed approximately $19.6 billion to 91 investments in North America, Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.riverstonellc.com.

About The AES Corporation

The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) is a Fortune 200 global power company. It provides affordable, sustainable energy to 27 countries through its diverse portfolio of distribution businesses as well as thermal and renewable generation facilities. Its workforce of 27,000 people is committed to operational excellence and meeting the world's changing power needs. 2011 revenues were $17 billion, and AES owns and manages $45 billion in total assets. To learn more, please visit www.aes.com.