Dhamma Energy closes financing for largest solar farm in northern France

2/13/20, 11:00 AM -

International solar developer Dhamma Energy announced today that it has secured long-term funding for the 87.5 megawatt Athies-Samoussy site.

Dhamma Energy closes financing for 87.5 megawatt solar farm in northern France
Construction of the 93 gigawatt solar park has already started.

French bank Caisse d’Epargne CEPAC acted as sole arranger, agent and account bank, working with Bpifrance, as the lender, and Natixis as the sole hedging bank.

“We are delighted to have established with Caisse d’Epargne CEPAC, BPI and Natixis a very competitive bank financing for our largest solar park in France. This marks a new step in our growing French portfolio that balances the geography of our solar parks in operation, which are currently located in Southern France and Corsica,” said co-founder of Dhamma Energy Olivier Crambade.

“We are pleased to have been able to arrange the financing of this new project for Dhamma Energy, for which we have been financing French projects for several years. This financing has been structured to allow Dhamma Energy to best benefit from the favourable liquidity that the European Investment Bank offers the French renewable energy sector and will also allow Dhamma Energy to benefit from a truly optimized financing cost,” Didier Moaté and Amaury Schoenauer said in a joint statement. Both are members of the board and head of Structured Financing at Caisse d’Epargne CEPAC.

Record crowdfunding for a solar project

Dhamma Energy won the Athies-Samoussy project in 2018 at French national auctions. The public and private sectors as well as individuals through crowdfunding have also invested in the project.

The Athies-Samoussy project, the largest solar park in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France, has set a record of crowdfunding for a solar project awarded at national auctions in France. The project collected 1.1 million euros through the platform Lendosphere in 25 days in July last year. Only local investors participated in the crowdfunding. The solar park is also financed by the mixed companies SEM Somme Energy and SEM Energies Hauts-de-France, as well as the private group Maison Mélan Moutet.

The five solar parks which compose the Athies-Samoussy project will come online over the next 12 months. Annual electricity production will be 93 gigawatts, which is the equivalent of the domestic consumption of 40,000 households.

Abandoned NATO air base

Construction has already started at the site. The project will provide a new use for the former Laon-Athies NATO Air Base, which is currently abandoned. Infrastructure company Grupo Ortiz are responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) for the project. Dhamma Energy and Grupo Ortiz signed a contract for the construction, operation and maintenance.

“We have found in Grupo Ortiz a recognised partner for the construction of the Athies-Samoussy solar park. Grupo Ortiz has a broad experience in the EPC of large solar parks, at an international level and in France,” said Sémir Chahed, Director of Development for France. (mfo)