DIF acquires Illumination from Canadian Solar

The transaction represents the third of four planned between the Dutch investor and the Canadian developer.

One month after commercial operations commenced at the Illumination Solar Power Plant in Scugog, Ontario, Dutch-based DIF has completed the purchase of the plant from developer Canadian Solar for CAD$65.9 million ($48.4 million; €44.3 million) through an affiliate of its third infrastructure fund.

The plant has a generating capacity of 10 megawatt (MW). Commercial operations commenced on 13 November, setting the start date on a 20-year feed-in tariff contract with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), Ontario's crown corporation responsible for operating the electricity market within the province. 

The plant was financed by a club of banks that include Natixis, NordLB and Rabobank, with Macquarie Capital providing subordinated construction financing. 

The Illumination sale represents the third transaction of four that were announced in November 2013 between DIF and Canadian Solar in the Canadian market, following on the heels of the 10MW Glenarm and Goldlight plants in January and March this year, respectively. DIF is also expected to purchase the 10MW Beamlight solar plant from Canadian Solar. At the time of the announcement of the four-plant sale, all were expected to reach commercial operations before the end of 2014. 

DIF Infrastructure III closed on €800 million in March 2013 and at the start of 2015 was about 65 percent invested. Along with the Canadian Solar four-plant package, DIF has also invested in a 30MW solar farm in Lone Valley, California in March, acquiring a 49 percent stake in that project. The company reports more than 300MW of solar projects under management.