Case studies

NORD/LB finances two wind farms in Lower Saxony and Italy

NORD/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank is behind the financing of two wind farms for Danish project developer European Energy A/S.

The project in the German federal state of Lower Saxony involves the existing Gilmerdingen wind farm in the Heide district, where the older turbines are being replaced by more efficient and more powerful units as part of a repowering programme. From mid-2017 onwards, six wind turbines built by Spanish manufacturer Gamesa will be generating environmentally friendly electricity there, with a total output of 12 MW.

The second financing project concerns the Oppido wind farm in the province of Potenza in the Basilicata region of Italy, where work is to start in December this year on the erection of a total ten 2-MW V110-type turbines built by Danish manufacturer Vestas. The 20-MW Oppido wind farm is one of the last projects to be put on grid with a feed-in tariff under the current tender procedure in Italy. European Energy A/S is an experienced project developer, and is also responsible for the construction of the wind farm.

Knud Erik Andersen, founder and CEO of European Energy A/S, expressed his satisfaction: "The two projects represent an important expansion of the business relationship between NORD/LB and European Energy. We are delighted to be realizing further projects on this basis towards being able to supply even more people in Germany and Italy with economically priced and environmentally friendly electricity. We regard NORD/LB as a reliable and professional partner with a wealth of local expertise ". "NORD/LB is fostering the further advancement of the energy transition in our heartland Lower Saxony through the financing of the Gilmerdingen wind farm", commented Christoph Trestler, Global Head Structured Finance at NORD/LB. "At the same time the Italian transaction shows once again that NORD/LB with its structuring know-how is also a leader at the international level and can serve customers in parallel in several markets".

NORD/LB and Talanx finance two solar parks in Brandenburg

NORD/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank and Talanx have jointly provided their support with project financing for two solar parks already in operation since 2010 close to the town of Cottbus in South Brandenburg. This marks the first opportunity for NORD/LB to work with the institutional investor Talanx. As part of this strategic cooperation, NORD/LB and investors of the Talanx Group jointly provided long-term loans upon financial close. NORD/LB handled the arrangement of project financing with the sponsors.

The total output of the two solar parks, Finsterwalde II and Finsterwalde III, is 39.8 MW. This would be the supply of energy for up to 10.800 private households. The parks have performed beyond initial forecasts. The total volume of financing is around € 85.5 million and is largely broken down into fixed-coupon and variable tranches, maturing on 31 December 2029. Blue Forrest Solar Holdings B.V., a joint venture between DIF Infrastructure II B.V. and NIBC European Infrastructure Fund I C.V., are the owners of the solar parks. Both NORD/LB and the Talanx Group provide long-term financing at current market conditions. The Talanx Group’s share in the financing is € 50 million.

“This financing represents a further addition to our portfolio in the successful financing of renewable energies projects. We are pleased to now have this first opportunity to work with the institutional investor Talanx, enabling us to take another step towards pursuing our strategy of working more closely with institutional investors,” said Christoph Schellkes, Head of the Credit Asset Management division at NORD/LB.

“As a long-term investor, Talanx is the ideal partner for traditionally longterm infrastructure projects,” said Dr Thomas Mann, Chief Investment Officer at Talanx Asset Management. “With this investment in the Finsterwalde II and Finsterwalde III solar parks, we have again generated yields well above the current interest of German government bonds as well as sustainably adding to our portfolio of alternative investments.”

NORD/LB finances major wind farm in France

NORD/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank finances the construction and subsequent operation of a major wind farm in France for the Austrian energy producer WEB Windenergie AG (W.E.B). The overall financing volume amounts to EUR 63 million.

Located in the Champagne-Ardenne region, the " Les Gourlus" onshore wind farm will be comprised of 12 directly driven Siemens wind turbines, each with a capacity of 3.2 MW. When completed, the facility will have an overall capacity of 38.4 MW and provide power for 35,000 households in the future. The wind farm is scheduled to go online in late December 2016. Its servicing and maintenance is to be handled by Siemens over a period of 20 years.

“The Les Gourlus wind farm represents a further step in the expansion of our activities in France as a key market. France is among the leading European locations for the renewable energies segment", said Eckhard Forst, member of the NORD/LB Managing Board. "We are benefiting from the fact that we already took on a pioneering role two decades ago in this sector in which we now have a wealth of unparalleled expertise."

"This project is the biggest individual investment to date in W.E.B's history. We are delighted to have such a professional and experienced financing partner for renewable energies as NORD/LB at our side", adds Dr. Michael Trcka, CFO of W.E.B.

NORD/LB finances solar rooftop projects in France in close collaboration with Denmark-based OBTON A/S

NORD/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank has financed further solar rooftop projects in France and, in the course of this, has continued to collaborate with Danish fund manager OBTON A/S. The total financing volume for the three projects closed in 2016 together with OBTON amounts to € 48 million.

Following the successful finalisation of the Sheepfarm project in April 2016, it has now been possible to complete the financing for two further portfolios - Batisolaire and ENR 1. In the Batisolaire project, solar systems were installed on nine agricultural buildings. ENR 1 is a project that covers 33 sites where solar panels have been mounted onto the roofs of schools and commercial buildings. The projects have locations in various French regions and went into operation between 2011 and 2013. The fact that it was possible to sign the contracts for the three solar financings within just five months is evidence of the efficient and exceptionally good collaboration between NORD/LB and OBTON.

NORD/LB has been involved in international solar energy projects for more than ten years already. Moreover, it has been active in the financing of renewable energies for over 20 years. The current financing volume for renewables amounts to € 9.3 billion. To-date, NORD/LB has financed solar and wind energy projects in France with a total output of over 500 megawatts.

NORD/LB completed landmark 198 MWp portfolio solar financing in Australia

NORD/LB took an unprecedented step and provided the largest solar portfolio syndicate financing in Victoria and Queensland with a total financing volume of AUD 231million. Australian renewable energy developer Edify Energy and German investor Wirsol will build and operate these three new large-scale solar farms expected to be completed by Q1 2018.

The portfolio consists of a blend of contracted and uncontracted revenue streams, supported by the Queensland Government, EnergyAustralia, and ERM Power. Bouygues Construction and RCR have been awarded the EPC contracts for the solar farms which will deploy solar modules from Trina Solar and JA Solar, inverters from SMA, and trackers from ATI.

NORD/LB has played a pivotal role in structuring this portfolio transaction, bringing more than 250 years of banking experience and European know-how into the Australian market. The syndicate lending group is made up of three lenders with each lender providing a third of the debt commitment. NORD/LB and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will provide an 18-year facility, while the Commonwealth Bank of Australia will provide a 15-year facility.

Olaf-Alexander Wiedemann, Regional CEO Asia Pacific of NORD/LB said “We are extremely thrilled to be one of the key financing parties for this transaction and this signifies a landmark deal in Australia for Nord/LB, adding to our portfolio of 13GW of green energies financed worldwide. This transaction continues to showcase Nord/LB’s execution capabilities in Australia as one of the leading banks in the global renewables space. We look forward to extending our pipeline in Australia and continue to provide customized solutions to meet our client’s financing needs.”

NORD/LB arranges ECA-covered project  financing for 95MW Meenadreen Extension

NORD/LB has provided 17 years non-recourse project finance of EUR 125m for a major new wind farm development in the Republic of Ireland supported by EUR 65m of German Export Credit Agency cover.

The Meenadreen Extension wind farm in County Donegal will use 38 Nordex N90 turbines to provide over 255 gigawatt hours of electricity each year, enough to power 70,000 homes, and will also involve the construction of a new €11m substation which will contribute to strengthening Donegal's electricity network. The windfarm is owned by Energia Renewables - one of Ireland's leading electricity suppliers and a leading investor in the Irish renewable sector.

The transaction is one of Ireland's largest onshore wind projects with NORD/LB acting as sole structuring and arranging bank further strengthening NORD/LB's leading role in the Irish renewable market .

NORD/LB and HSH finance the “Koop” wind park portfolio in France

NORD/LB and HSH Nordbank have provided project finance of over EUR 100 million to the holding company Eole Nord de France as joint lead arrangers.

The wind park portfolio consists of four sub-parks with an output of between 12 and 24 megawatts (MW). The total output is 72 MW. The wind park is owned by the Diamond Generating Group and EDF Energies Nouvelles. The Diamond Generating Group is a subsidiary of the Japanese Mitsubishi Corporation, and EDF Energies Nouvelles belongs to France’s EDF (Électricité de France) – one of the world’s largest energy suppliers. 

Turbines manufactured by Siemens, each with an output of 3 MW, will be installed in all wind parks. Siemens also maintains the facilities. EDF Energies Nouvelles is responsible for constructing and operating the wind parks. 

NORD/LB acted as modelling and documentary bank during the structuring and arrangement of the financing and was responsible for the general coordination of the processes. Further, the bank is responsible for the ongoing administration of the financing as the agent. 

This portfolio transaction enhances NORD/LB’s position in the finance of renewable energies in France. 

NORD/LB finances major wind park in Thuringia

NORD/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank is financing the construction and subsequent operation of a wind farm in Rastenberg, Thuringia, for the German project development company wpd onshore GmbH & Co KG. This is one of the biggest wind farm projects ever financed by NORD/LB in the German onshore market.

wpd onshore GmbH & Co KG a wholly-owned subsidiary of wpd AG, Bremen, one of the most well-known wind farm planning and project development companies in Europe. The Rastenberg wind farm consists of 15 turbines manufactured by Vestas, twelve with a 2 megawatt (MW) capacity and three with a 3 MW capacity. The total installed capacity of the wind farm is 33 MW. The wind farm was jointly acquired by Thüga Erneuerbare Energien GmbH & Co. KG in Munich and ESWE Versorgungs AG in Wiesbaden.

For the financing, in addition to an equity bridge loan facility, a commercial loan facility has been provided by NORD/LB and a promotional loan by KfW-Förderbank. “With the Rastenberg wind park we are stepping up our already strong commitment to the renewable energies segment,” explained Eckhard Forst, who is on the Managing Board of NORD/LB. “We are benefiting from the pioneering work we did in this area two decades ago as we now possess unique expertise.”

NORD/LB finances “Krughütte” solar park in Saxony-Anhalt

NORD/LB has taken on the project financing for the “Krughütte” solar farm near Lutherstadt Eisleben in Saxony-Anhalt with a financing volume of approx. EUR 35 million.

The solar farm with a total installed capacity of around 30 megawatts (MW) was jointly designed by Parabel AG, Berlin, and SRU Solar AG in Berga, Saxony-Anhalt, and constructed in the record time of six weeks. A subsidiary of Parabel AG will also be responsible for the long-term operation of the solar farm, in which more than 121,000 polycrystalline solar modules manufactured by Trina Solar will be used. For the conversion into alternating current. approx. 1,400 inverters manufactured by Siemens and Danfoss will be used. The solar farm has been constructed on the approx. 100-hectare site of the former Krughütte mine where copper ore was mined in the 1970s. With the solar farm the energy demand of around 7,500 four-person households can be covered with renewable energy.

NORD/LB has structured and arranged the financing of the solar farm. For the refinancing, a refinancing loan was provided from the KfW-Förderbank’s “Renewable Energies” programme and a long-term loan tranche was provided by NORD/LB. The relevant contracts were signed by all of the parties in December.

“With this project we have once again demonstrated our core competence in the area of renewable energies,” said Dr. Hinrich Holm, who is on the Managing Board of NORD/LB. “We are particularly pleased that we have been able to support a project in our home market of Saxony-Anhalt in which a company from the region is also playing a key role.”

NORD/LB arranges financing for the biggest solar park in Europe to date: 90.4 MWp in Germany

NORD/LB has structured and arranged a non-recourse project senior debt financing of app. EUR 104 million to fund construction and operation of a PV plant ("poly- and monocrystalline") located near Briest, Brandenburg, Germany.

The overall solar park has a capacity of 90.4 megawatts (MW) (Total CAPEX: EUR 200 million) and was developed by Q-Cells SE, the German module manufacturer and developer, making it the largest open space solar power plant in Europe to date. Two thirds of the parks (ca. 60.1 MW) were acquired by Luxcara GmbH in the spring of 2011. The Sponsor, a well known Hamburg based asset management fund, specialised in the acquisition and management of photovoltaic assets in Europe, mandated NORD/LB and HSH Nordbank as joint MLAs to provide the commercial facilities for the acquisition of the project.

Financial Close was achieved in April 2012, while NORD/LB acted as Modelling, Technical and Insurance Bank and HSH Nordbank took the role of Facility & Security Agent and Documentation Bank.

Right from the start of the structuring process the MLAs were aiming to maximise funding from the KfW ("Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau") renewable energy program in the best interest of the customer. The all-in funding cost of the KfW tranche is currently roughly 2.00% lower than commercial funding rates. Final maturity of the loans is around 18 years from commissioning.

NORD/LB and HSH Nordbank were advised by Watson Farley Williams (legal), Evergy (technical), Marsh (insurance), and Deloitte (tax and financial model).

Heiko Ludwig, Head of Energy Origination Europe: "As a bank with a leading position in the field of Renewable Energy, I am of course delighted that we have been able to support such an important and strategic project for our client. For NORD/LB this was the second large scale PV project closed in the last 3 months and underlines our competence in and commitment to the Renewable Energy sector in Europe."

NORD/LB finances the "Turnow II" solar park in Brandenburg

NORD/LB has taken over the project financing for the "Turnow II" solar park in the municipality of Turnow-Preilack near Cottbus in the federal state of Brandenburg. This follows the bank's co-financing in 2009 already of the directly adjacent "Turnow I" solar park on the former "Lieberoser Heide" military exercise area.

The two parks together generate an aggregate output of over 70 megawatts (MW), making this the world's biggest conjoined thin-layer module complex, capable of covering the annual power consumption of more than 20,000 households.

Built on an area of around 50 hectares, equivalent to 70 soccer pitches, "Turnow II" is a photovoltaic power station with an output capacity of over 18 MW. One of the biggest challenges faced as part of the due diligence process was integrating this follow-on project into the already existing park infrastructure. juwi Solar GmbH, a company specialized in regenerative power plants and based in Wörrstadt/North Rhine-Westphalia, took on the function of general contractor with responsibility for the project's planning, logistics, site management and erection work; the company will also be running the complex as long-term operator. The project's financing was structured by the Structured Finance Team at NORD/LB. The solar park itself is equipped with around 230,000 thin-layer modules manufactured by First Solar GmbH and 24 central inverters built by SMA Technology AG. "Turnow II" will be delivering approximately 18.2 million kilowatt hours of environmentally friendly electricity per year.

The project involves an overall investment volume of around EUR 37 million. The outside capital comes in the form of a loan from KfW Förderbank and a long-term UmweltBank promissory note bond. The equity capital is provided by STAWAG Energie GmbH as investor. The loan agreements were signed shortly before Christmas.

"Having already been involved in the financing of Turnow I, we are pleased to be at the service of our customer again as reliable partner in this follow-on investment", said Eckhard Forst, member of the NORD/LB Managing Board. "The financing of this highly interesting project once again demonstrates our competence and leading role in the sphere of renewable energy."

NORD/LB accompanied innovative financing of a wind farm in the UK

NORD/LB has structured and realized the project financing for the construction and operation of a wind farm in Hyndburn, Lancashire/England with a project volume of around EUR 45 million. The wind farm has a capacity of 24.6 megawatts (MW), and its developer and operator is EnergieKontor AG.

When completed, the wind power facility will operate with twelve wind turbines of the 2 MW-class built by Repower, and is scheduled to go into operation in autumn 2012. By way of an innovation in the British market, NORD/LB structured a loan financed by the German KfW development bank amounting to EUR 10 million.

Since 1990, EnergieKontor AG has planned, financed and operated wind power facilities in Germany, Portugal and the UK, and offers these facilities as investments. Another of its focal activities is the project planning of offshore wind farms. Over 500 MW of installed onshore wind power output and an investment volume of around EUR 750 million make EnergieKontor AG one of the leading companies in Germany's wind energy sector.

Eckhard Forst, member of the NORD/LB Board of Management said: "NORD/LB is one of the world's leading banks in the sphere of renewable energies. Extensive expertise in the renewable energies sector and our competence in the areas of consulting and the structuring and realization of project financing enables us to provide our customers worldwide with optimal assistance and support."

NORD/LB engages in Offshore-Windfarm Financing "Global Tech I"

Together with German KfW IPEX-Bank, Belgian Dexia and French Société Générale, NORD/LB arranged and structured the financing of the North Sea–Windfarm “Global Tech I”.

Corresponding loan agreements were signed on 7th July 2011 by the European Investment Bank and a consortium of 16 international commercial banks. The total debt volume amounts to about EUR 1 billion, NORD/LB being involved with EUR 50 million.

The North Sea-windfarm "Global Tech I" is built in a 41 square kilometre area, about 180 kilometres from Bremerhaven’s shore. The first turbines are planned to be connected to the energy grid end of 2012, with full completion of construction in 2013. Once completed, the 80 wind turbines generate 1.4 billion kilowatt-hours per year of environmentally friendly energy .This allows for the full electricity supply of 445,000 households.

“We are pleased to be able to accompany this milestone project, “ said Eckhard Forst, Member of NORD/LB Managing Board. „NORD/LB finances renewable energy projects since the early nineties. We are very glad to contribute our extensive experience in wind energy for the first time to an offshore-wind-project.”

Responsible for the development, construction and operation of the wind farm is the project’s limited liability company Global Tech I Offshore Wind GmbH. Shareholders are the energy suppliers Stadtwerke München GmbH and HSE AG (Darmstadt), the European energy trading company EGL AG and the Esportes Offshore Beteiligungs GmbH. Further shareholders are the project development companies Norderland Projekt GmbH and Windreich AG.

NORD/LB structures financing to back Energia wind farm developments in Northern-Ireland

NORD/LB and Rabobank structured and financed for the company Energia - a member of Veridian Group - the construction and operation of wind farms "Crighshane and Chuch Hill" in Northern Ireland.

The total investment of 63 million pounds will be provided to 90% by long-term liabilities of the two banks. The project financing for the wind farm with an installed capacity of 51 megawatts (MW) has an 18 year term.

The 57 million pounds financing was structured by NORD/LB who was mandated as Debt Advisor in summer 2008. Based on the strong project fundamentals, NORD/LB underwrote 100% of the financing in spring 2010. Rabobank International joined the financing before financial close as Mandated Lead Arranger.

"We are very pleased with the vote of confidence from leading renewable lenders NORD/LB and Rabobank," said Peter Baillie, Managing Director Renewables, Energia, "We have been working closely with NORD/LB as debt advisor for the last two years to achieve this financing and we strongly recommend their expertise in the renewable sector."

Gerard Pieters, who lead the deal for NORD/LB said: “NORD/LB is one of the pioneers in wind power financing in the UK and we are delighted to have been able to advise Energia on this landmark financing. Our expertise and in-depth knowledge of all important renewable energy systems and support regimes in Europe enable us to provide a world-class service to our customers.“

Energia currently has over 300 MW of operating renewable generation in Ireland and will be increasing this by another 540 MW over the next 2 years to 840 MW, around 25% of Ireland's renewable power.

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