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SunPower closes €195.2m bond for Italian solar power plant

SunPower Corp has closed its €195.2 million solar bond issuance associated with the company's 44 MW Montalto di Castro solar park in Italy.

The proceeds will be used to pay for the development and construction of the solar park, which is now complete and connected to the local electrical grid.

The sale of the Italian solar park is scheduled to close before the end of this year.

"This is the world's first publicly rated bond issue for a solar project, as well as Italy's first rated project bond. It opens up a new global-scale pool of capital to fund solar projects beyond traditional project financing from banks," says Dennis Arriola, SunPower CFO.

"Achieving investment grade ratings is a milestone for the solar sector and further demonstrates the bankability of SunPower's turnkey solar energy systems. Our success is a culmination of an exhaustive due diligence process which resulted in various independent parties recognizing the technical, financial and operating expertise that SunPower delivers."

The solar bonds were issued in two classes:

  • Class A1 bonds of €97.6m in fixed rate notes paying 5.715% due in 2028
  • Class A2 bonds of €97.6m in fixed rate notes paying 4.839% due in 2028

The Class A1 benefit from a loan guarantee by SACE (an insurance and financial group controlled by Italy's Ministry of Economy and Finance) and its Aa2 credit rating from Moody's. The class A2 bonds have been rated Baa3 from Moody's and were purchased by the European Investment Bank.

SunPower has also announced the completion of the entire 72 MW Montalto di Castro solar park.

All phases of the project have been constructed using SunPower solar panels and SunPower T0 Tracker technology to generate approximately 140 GWh of electricity per year.

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