Sonnedix begins construction of its largest UK solar PV plant, providing 100 green jobs to local area

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25 April, 2024

London, UK – Sonnedix, the global renewable energy producer with over 3GW operating capacity, has begun construction of Cowley Complex, the largest plant in its 300MW UK portfolio. The 120MW ground-mounted solar PV plant is set to become one of the largest solar PV plants in the UK once completed in Q3 2025.

Cowley Complex, located in County Durham, is made up of three connected sites of 60MW, 43MW and 17MW. Once operational, it will supply roughly 124,600 MWh of renewable electricity per year, enough to power 35,000 UK homes and avoid almost 48,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually1.

With this construction, Sonnedix continues to advance its position and growth in the UK solar market with the ambition of playing a leading role in the UK’s transition to renewable energies. Not only is Sonnedix supporting the country to meet its Net Zero goals through provision of clean and affordable energy in the UK, but also by deploying green jobs. The Cowley plant is being built by EPC contractor Ameresco Sunel Energy Ltd, contributing to the local economy by providing over 100 green jobs in the area.

The project is the first to draw from Sonnedix’s innovative EUR500 million loan facility secured in December 2023 to finance the construction of its renewable energy projects in Europe and the UK. The multicurrency loan allows Sonnedix to cluster, contract and construct its development pipeline of renewable plants more efficiently and flexibly.

The whole UK portfolio is 100% contracted under the UK Government’s Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme providing long-term price and revenue security. Following completion of construction of Cowley Complex, the CfD scheme will become effective in 2026.

Axel Thiemann, CEO of Sonnedix, said:

“With construction of the largest plant in our UK portfolio underway, we have marked a major milestone in our UK growth strategy. We are excited to be progressing our presence in the market and becoming a key player in helping the UK transition towards a clean, secure and sustainable energy system and meeting its decarbonisation goals.”

Jorge Amiano Goyarrola, Global Head of Engineering and Construction, said:

“We’re extremely excited to be breaking ground on the Cowley site. At 120MW, this is an important infrastructure project for the local area, providing over 100 green jobs during construction and the secure supply of green, affordable energy once operational. We’re very proud to be working on what is set to be one of the largest solar PV plants across the whole of the UK once completed.”



Notes to Editors

In addition to the Cowley Complex, the UK portfolio comprises four other ground-mounted solar PV plants: Gonerby Solar (Lincolnshire); Winkburn Solar Farm (Nottinghamshire); Gammaton Solar (North Devon), and Lawns Solar (Lancashire). These range in size from 60MW to 20MW, and are being built by Ameresco Sunel Energy Ltd.

The EUR500 million European Construction Facility was provided by six commercial lenders acting as mandated lead arrangers and hedging banks: BBVA, CIBC, NatWest, Rabobank, Banco Sabadell, and Santander Corporate & Investment Banking (Santander CIB), which also acted as agent for the facilities.

On the transaction, Sonnedix was advised by Watson Farley Williams (legal and tax) and the lenders by Eversheds Sutherland (legal), Vector Renewables (technical), INDECS Consulting (insurance), with EY as model auditor.

About Sonnedix

Sonnedix is a global renewable energy producer with over a decade-long trajectory of sustainable growth. Sonnedix develops, builds, and operates renewable energy projects for the long-term, with a focus on providing green, affordable electricity to our customers, and acting as a true social citizen there where it operates.

Sonnedix currently has a total capacity of over 10GW, including a development pipeline of more than 6GW, across Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Spain, USA, and UK. The company continues to expand its global footprint across OECD countries, through acquisitions and development of renewable energy projects.

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1 Calculated using the latest International Energy Agency (IEA) emission factor for natural gas derived electricity.