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Sonnedix ramps up Spanish solar portfolio with 136MW buy

The JPMorgan-owned power producer has bought a collection of assets in Spain from Centerbridge, with an agreement to explore further deals alongside the US investment firm.

Independent power producer Sonnedix has agreed to acquire a portfolio of 43 solar plants in Spain with a combined capacity of 136MW.

The Vela Portfolio was bought from US private equity giant Centerbridge Partners and the deal means JPMorgan-owned Sonnedix has now positioned itself as Spain’s second-largest solar operator, just behind I Squared-backed developer T-Solar. The company declined to disclose the size of the deal.

The acquisition is a remarkable scale-up of the company’s activities in Spain, where the firm previously owned just two solar projects with a total capacity of 2.3MW. Its previous investment in the country came in 2011, before retroactive policy changes hit many foreign investors in renewable energy hard.

Sonnedix hailed its come-back to the Spanish solar market as “an important milestone” for the firm and said it will be exploring further solar acquisition opportunities in Spain and elsewhere alongside Centerbridge.

The Spanish market may be set for a revival this year after the government announced it will conduct a 3GW renewables auction in the coming months. Some 1.4GW of the tendered capacity is expected to be for solar energy.

The latest transaction is the largest agreed by Sonnedix since JPMorgan Asset Management and its institutional clients completed a takeover of the company in August last year. It brings Sonnedix’s capacity to almost 500MW, with efforts in recent years mainly concentrated on Japan and Chile.