Inspired Evolution partners with Alten Africa to develop, construct and operate utility-scale solar PV Power Stations across sub-Saharan Africa
Inspired Evolution has signed a deal to invest up to USD36 million in Alten RE Developments Africa B.V., the sub-Saharan Africa-focused subsidiary of Alten Energías Renovables. The investment by Inspired Evolution’s Evolution II Fund will scale Alten Africa’s existing solar PV development platform across sub-Saharan Africa. Alten Africa offers Evolution II Fund investment opportunities in 225 MWp of construction-ready and advanced projects in three of its priority countries with an additional 400 MWp pipeline of opportunities underway in select targeted countries within the region.
Inspired Evolution brings Alten Africa a specialised strategic investment partner with an experienced team, deep regional market insights and a track record of 913 MW of clean energy infrastructure investments. The Inspired Evolution team has proven itself through the full investment cycle, with hands-on value addition through greenfield project development, permitting, procurement, financing, construction, operations and exit, having concluded a successful sale of its consolidated renewable operating portfolio in December 2016.
Alten Energías Renovables is an experienced international solar PV developer and IPP targeting ambitious capacity expansion in sub-Saharan Africa. It has a strong track record in southern Europe and more recently in Africa and Latin America, where it has won projects in fiercely contested public-private auction environments. This makes Alten a compelling and competitive player in the region.
The partnership initially aims to bring up to 500 MW of construction-ready, advanced and pre-permitted solar PV projects into operation. Three projects are advanced: (i) the construction-ready Hardap Project, a 45.45 MWp solar PV project located near Mariental in Namibia on track to reach financial close by early February 2018; (ii) the 51.5 MWp Kesses 1 Project in Kenya, in the final phase towards financial close by May 2018; and (iii) the 125 MWp Middle Band Solar One Project in Nigeria, with a signed power purchase agreement and moving towards closing.
Christopher Clarke, Managing Partner at Inspired Evolution, confirmed that numerous attributes of the Alten-Inspired Evolution partnership make it a powerful force in the sub-Saharan African renewables market. “Together we offer the aggregation of regional and international market knowledge, multi-disciplinary skills and credentials with over 1 GW of collective clean energy track record. Additional features of the partnership include demonstrated procurement competitiveness, development capital efficiency, geographic diversification and best-practice environmental, social and governance approaches to enhance development impact,” he says. Clarke sees the deal with Alten as a major milestone. “We couldn’t have had a better start in demonstrating Evolution II’s implementation of the Inspired Evolution investment strategy to replicate partnerships with pedigreed development partners that have demonstrated success in the regional market.”
Juan Laso, executive President at Alten Energías Renovables, pointed out that the partnership with Inspired Evolution “consolidates the venture Alten initiated 5 years ago in sub-Saharan Africa. The experience of Alten, together with the local knowledge, capacity and vision of Inspired Evolution create a perfect combination to succeed and to satisfy the vast energy needs of the region with solar PV technology.”
Luis Castellanos, CEO of Alten Africa, said that this partnership is a recognition of the work performed by the Alten team. “It is the reward for the experience and passion we put into our daily work. This will soon be reflected in the implementation of our project in Namibia project and the financial closure of those in Kenya and Nigeria” Mr. Castellanos also referred to the development of the pipeline and new opportunities in the region: “solar photovoltaic technology is the solution that best adapts to the needs of the region due to its modularity, ubiquity and sustainability, and to the low cost of the energy produced”.
Inspired Evolution (www.inspiredevolution.co.za), the manager of Evolution I and Evolution II Funds, is a specialised clean energy infrastructure and resource efficiency investment manager with offices in Cape Town, London, Nairobi and Mauritius, and new offices planned for Johannesburg and Lagos in 2018.
Alten Energías Renovables (www.alten-energy.com) is a leading developer and IPP focused on solar photovoltaic technology, with presence in the Netherlands, Spain, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Argentina and Mexico. It has extensive expertise in the development, financing, construction and operation of PV solar power stations in challenging environments. Currently the company is building a 348 MW power plant in Mexico to supply electricity under a long term PPA with the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), the Mexican utility. In sub-Saharan Africa, the company has signed PPAs for a total capacity of 225 MW with the utilities of Namibia, Kenya and Nigeria. Alten also has a pipeline of 1 GW at different stages of development in Africa and Latin America.