AMPLIO CLOSES ON 6MW ITALIAN SOLAR PLANTS
WITH ADDITIONAL 20-30MW IN FINAL PERMIT STAGE
The Amplio Group (London, U.K.), a leading international operator and investor in the renewable energy and environmental sectors, announces today that it has completed and connected two plants of 1MW each and expects to connect by the end of the month four additional plants of 1MW. Amplio’s investment will be approximately €13 million for a total of 6MW of solar plants in the provinces of Foggia and Lecce in the region of Puglia in southern Italy.
This brings Amplio’s total investment in solar in the last 12 months to approximately €33 million, financed in part with equity and vendor finance in order to accelerate construction of the solar plants. Amplio is expanding its solar team and in 2010 will be seeking finance for an additional 20-30MW, which are in the final permit stages and ready to commence building. Once the plants are fully operational, Amplio intends to refinance its solar portfolio with senior bank debt.This additional 6MW will bring Amplio’s fully operational solar portfolio to a total of 9MW. Amplio has already built and project financed 3MW in Sicily, with Martifer as Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC”) contractor. Amplio has been working with three other EPC contractors, Ecowareand Sinergia Sistemi of Italy and Solarig of Spain.
In July 2009, Amplio announced that it had secured €40m from institutional investors to build a pipeline of up to around 100MW of photovoltaic solar plants over two years. In order to achieve this, Amplio is continuing to expand its solar business into other markets through strategic partnerships with companies active in the installation of solar plants on the roofs of industrial buildings and companies operating in other geographical markets such as France and America.
Alberto Dalla Rosa, CEO of Amplio Solar, commented:”This additional 6MW gives Amplio Solar a good regional diversification as we now have 3MW operating in Sicily and a pipeline of fully integrated solar developments in other regions including Sardinia, the Marche and centre-north areas of Italy. At Amplio, we remain confident of reporting further significant progress in the year ahead.”
Riccardo Segat, CEO and Founder of Amplio Group, commented:”Despite a difficult credit market, Amplio continues to grow its solar business thanks to the strong support of equity partners and good partnerships with EPC contractors. Amplio Solar is focused on delivering more MW during 2010 under the current tariff regime, creating one of the leading solar energy businesses in Europe.”
The demand for solar energy Solar energy has long been seen as a key renewable energy source and a means to counter the problems of pollution and climate change resulting from the use of fossil fuels. As such, it has attracted significant interest from investors, with around $28.6 billion in investment in the solar energy sector over the last year and, since 2004, the global market for solar energy has grown by an annual rate of 254%. After a 134% increase in 2008 and a flat 2009 for installations post the Spanish solar rush of 2008, most expect global solar sector growth to return in 2010 with a 60% increase with similar growth expected in Italy in 2010 and 2011.
The benefits of using solar energy technology have long been known to provide clean, non-pollutingenergy from a constant source and it has been found that every minute the sun delivers enough energy to the earth to meet global demands for an entire year.
Italy, like Hawaii, is currently the closest to grid parity due to the combination of isolation from nearby markets and high electricity prices. Although a revision of the current feed in tariff (FIT) is envisaged for 2011, all operators in the sector consider a maximum reduction of 20% in the FIT, and further yearly smaller reduction of some 3-5% afterwards. Given the recent euro-based price reductions, Amplio believes that the market will remain attractive in Italy for at least the next two to three years.