The European Investment Bank has approved framework financing of up to €1.7 billion for Solaria to support the construction of some 120 photovoltaic power plants mostly located in Spain, as well as Italy and Portugal. The project is backed by the InvestEU programme.
The photovoltaic power plants will have a total capacity of approximately 5.6 GW and will produce an estimated 9.29 TWh a year. The power plants are expected to come into operation by the end of 2028. This operation will support the achievement of the EU’s policy objectives under the European Green Deal and the REPowerEU Plan by providing electricity equivalent to the average annual demand of approximately 2.5 million households and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by around 3 million tonnes of CO2 a year. More than one-third of the installed capacity will be located in less developed regions. These are regions that have a GDP per capita that is less than 75% of the EU average. The project will significantly boost employment in the areas where the plants are to be built, creating around 11,100 jobs a year during the construction phase, according to EIB estimates.
The operation has a long-term project finance structure involving the signature of several loans, which financial institutions will be able to participate in under the framework financing. The first loan under this framework financing has been signed for a total amount of €278 million for the construction of photovoltaic power plants with a total capacity of approximately 1.08 GW.
Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, said: “This important agreement is a great demonstration of InvestEU’s ability to meaningfully support Europe’s transition to climate neutrality and energy independence. It will make available up to €1.7 billion of financing for new photovoltaic power plants in Spain, Italy and Portugal. This is good news both for the climate and for our economy: it will not only help to power millions of households with clean energy, but also create thousands of jobs in the construction phase in the relevant regions.”
The InvestEU programme provides the EU with long-term funding by leveraging private and public funds in support of EU policy priorities. As part of the programme, the InvestEU Fund is implemented through financial partners who will invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee and thus mobilising at least €372 billion in additional investment.