Refinancing of a 145MW wind portfolio in France

Published January 2018

Everoze was delighted to advise Sumitomo Banking Corporation, la Banque Postale, and Auxifip – Credit Agricole Unifergie on the technical side for the 180 million euros debt refinancing of a wind farm Portfolio that came to financial close by the end of December 2017. The portfolio’s 12 wind farms are located in France, commissioned between 2009 and 2016 and totalizing 145MW. This Portfolio, operated by Valorem, includes GE, Ecotechnia, Vestas, Acciona and Senvion wind turbines.

Everoze’s scope of work included post-construction energy assessment, wind turbine inspections and the technical review of turbine technologies, historical operations, O&M contracts, asset management contracts and grid connection agreements (press release).

Everoze employed its industry leading Due Diligence on Demand process, ensuring a robust risk assessment, smooth communication and continuous identification of open or risk items. Through the process, efficient mitigation measures were discussed and agreed between the parties, allowing the technical risk profile of the projects to reach an acceptable level.

Especially on the post-construction energy assessment, Everoze investigated different options together with Valorem to make the best use of the operational data and information available at the wind farms and make appropriate analysis choices. This has allowed Everoze to reduce uncertainty in the analyses and optimise P90 results at the wind farms. Close discussions with Valorem and Valemo (the operator) have also been key to fully understand historical availability and performance at the wind farms and provide comfort in the energy results obtained. A portfolio effect was finally estimated, rather than simply adding the uncertainties together for each wind farm, some of the uncertainties from one wind farm to another have been considered as independent of one another, therefore reducing the overall uncertainty at the portfolio level. This is a key benefit in the context of a portfolio refinancing.

Camille Mader, Engineer at Credit Agricole Unifergie and technical due diligence manager for the lenders indicates: “We’ve enjoyed working with the Everoze teams. Their pragmatic approach and ability to bring solutions have been highly appreciated by the lenders on this challenging transaction.”

Tristan Maes, Head of project finance at Valorem and transaction manager added: “We were pleased to have Everoze as lender technical advisor on this portfolio refinancing. Everoze was able to demonstrate rapid performance, high availability and willingness, deep technical knowledge and market authority. Working with Everoze allowed to conduct meaningful dialogues and to ease relations with third parties involved in the transaction”

Everoze’s work has been led by French partner Clément Hochart supported by a broader project team including Justine Malafosse, Arnaud Thomé and Brieuc Pey.