Enlight, Noy Fund acquire 2 SunPower projects

The 10-megawatt photovoltaic energy projects are located at Mivtachim and Talme Bilu in the western Negev.

A consortium led by Enlight Renewable Energy Solutions Ltd. (TASE:ENLT) and the Noy Infrastructure and Energy Investment Fund has won the tender to acquire two solar energy projects owned by SunPower Israel Corporation. In a notice to the TASE, Enlight said that the consortium paid NIS 157 million for the projects.

The Enlight-Noy Fund consortium beat Migdal Insurance and Financial Holdings Ltd. (TASE: MGDL) and Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd. (TASE: CLIS) in the tender. Market sources say that Migdal and the Helios Fund consortium's bid was in second place, and that the Clal Insurance's bid was in third place.

The two projects are in the final construction stages ahead of obtaining permanent electricity production licenses and connection to the national grid. Enlight said that the photovoltaic projects are located at Mivtachim and Talme Bilu in the western Negev and that they have NIS 260 million in financing from Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) and Clal Finance Ltd. The projects will have NIS 48 million in gross annual income from electricity sales, for a total of NIS 960 million revenue over the entire operating period.

Each solar energy project will generate 10 megawatts of electricity. The Mivtachim project has been guaranteed a rate of NIS 1.30 per kilowatt/hour, and the Talme Bilu project has been guaranteed a rate of NIS 1.02 per kilowatt/hour.

The two projects, as well as others, were originally developed by SunRay Renewable Energy Ltd., which was acquired by SunPower Corporation (Nasdaq: SPWR) of the US for $277 million in February 2010. Six months ago, SunPower, a subsidiary of French oil major Total SA (Euronext: FP; NYSE: TOT), decided to sell its Israeli assets because of the lack of regulatory certainty, after the Israel Land Administration raised the assessments on the land of the company's projects by hundreds of percent.

For the investment institutions, the solar energy projects are long-term income-producing projects with fixed incomes. They are a non-tradable investment which diversifies their portfolios, while reducing the high linkage of the results of the institutions investments in capital markets. Investment institutions are increasing investments in this channel, alongside investment in private equity funds, real estate, and infrastructures.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 4, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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