Marguerite completes second solar deal

The EU-focused debut fund has now completed three deals, all in the renewable energy sector and all three involving the acquisition of stakes from EDF Energies Nouvelles. Marguerite, which raised €710m at first close, has now invested a total of €80m in equity.

The Marguerite Fund, the European Union-focused fund backed by six European public financial institutions, has acquired a 36-megawatt (MW) part of EDF Energy Nouvelles’ Massangis ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) project in France.

Covering an area of 141 hectares near the northern central French city of Auxerre, Massangis is expected to start generating electricity in the third quarter of this year. Development, construction, operation and maintenance of the power plant, which totals 56MW, are in the hands of EDF Energies Nouvelles, which is keeping ownership of the remaining part of the plant.

Marguerite has secured financing for the construction of its 36MW under a term loan facility with  Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Banking as sole underwriter. 

Marguerite is no stranger to EDF Energies Nouvelles, having acquired stakes from the French renewable energy company in both of its two previous deals: C-Power, the owner and operator of the 325MW Thornton Bank offshore wind project in Belgium; and the 115MW Toul-Rosiere solar PV project near Nancy in north-east France.

Marguerite has now invested a total of €80 million of equity into its three greenfield deals, which have a combined expected capacity of 500MW and a project cost of more than €1.5 billion. The investments have come from the 2020 European Fund for Energy, Climate Change and Infrastructure, which completed a first closing in March 2010 on €710 million.

The fund is backed by six European public financial institutions: Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations; Cassa Depositi e Prestiti; European Investment Bank; Instituto de Crédito Oficial; KfW; and PKO Bank Polski. Marguerite is expecting a final close of the fund sometime in 2012.