OPIC Board Approves $185 Million for Two Solar Power Projects in …

June 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Board of Directors of the Overseas
Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
, the U.S. Government’s
development finance institution, approved $185 million in financing for
the construction of two 20-megawatt solar power plants in Peru that will
produce nearly 100 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually – a
significant step forward in the renewable energy sector for a country
facing one of the lowest rural electrification rates in Latin America.

“2011 Latin American
Renewables Deal of the Year”

The initiative is OPIC’s second major solar project in Peru within a
year: last June, OPIC’s
Board approved $123 million in financing
for the construction of two
20-megawatt solar power plants – the first large-scale solar power
project in the country. That project was named the “2011 Latin American
Renewables Deal of the Year” by Euromoney Institutional Investor.

The new OPIC financing will enable Conduit
Capital Partners
, a private equity investment firm, to finance the
construction and operation of the Tacna and Panamericana solar plants in
Peru’s rural south. All electricity generated by the plants will be sold
to Peru’s national grid, supporting the country’s effort to diversify
its sources of power generation.

“The Peruvian government, in partnership with the private sector,
continues to make great strides in bringing electricity to the majority
of its population. This project will enable Peru to take advantage of
its great solar potential in order to increase energy access in rural,
poorer areas where the need is greatest,” said OPIC President and CEO
Elizabeth Littlefield.

The project is particularly designed to help Peru take advantage of its
significant solar potential: solar energy levels in the southern
mountain ranges exceed six kWh/m2/day, which are among the highest
worldwide. But while access to electricity in Peru has increased from 45
percent in 1990 to 89 percent in 2011, coverage in the predominantly
poor rural areas is about 30 percent, with more than six million
Peruvians lacking electricity.

In 2005, OPIC provided $60 million in financing to Conduit’s Latin Power
III fund, the latest of three investment funds which to date have in
more than two dozen power projects. In Peru alone, Conduit has invested
in more than 1100 MW of power generation facilities.

Conduit is a private equity investment firm focused on the independent
electric power industry in Latin America and the Caribbean.

OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It
mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges
and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy.
Because OPIC works
with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in
emerging markets catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both
at home and abroad.
OPIC achieves its mission by providing
investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and
support for private equity investment funds.

Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC
operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American
taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business
enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has
supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects,
generated an estimated $75 billion in U.S. exports and supported more
than 276,000 American jobs.

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