Flexible solar leasing solution “Release by Scatec” closes USD 102 million capital financing round
27 October 2023, Oslo: Release by Scatec (“Release”) today closed the previously announced USD 102 million (NOK 1.1 billion) transaction with Climate Fund Managers (“CFM”). The funds will be used to further accelerate its growth ambitions as a separate platform. Release was established by Scatec ASA (“Scatec”) in 2019 to offer a flexible and mobile leasing solution of pre-assembled and modular solar and battery equipment for the mining and utilities market.
CFM is a leading climate-centric blended finance fund manager backed by FMO, the Dutch Development Bank, and Sanlam Infraworks, part of the Sanlam Group of South Africa. The company invested in Release via its Climate Investor One (CIO) fund; a blended finance vehicle focused on renewable energy infrastructure in emerging markets. As previously communicated, CFM will contribute USD 55 million in equity for a 32% stake in Release. Scatec will retain the majority shareholding of 68%. CFM will also provide shareholder loans totalling USD 47 million, part of which will be on concessional terms.
“We welcome Climate Fund Managers as a strategic partner to fuel the solid growth journey of the Release platform. With this collaboration, we are not only raising funds; we are sharing the future of renewable energy solutions. Release is offering a unique solution in a rapidly growing market segment that requires a different business model than Scatec’s larger scale project business,” says Scatec CEO, Terje Pilskog, who is also the Chair of Release. “We are excited to reach this key strategic milestone for Release. It is testimony to Release’s unique business model and Scatec’s ability to attract top climate-oriented fund managers on a mission to invest in value accretive projects in emerging economies.”
Release represents Scatec's innovative approach to distributed generation solar PV and Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) for projects beginning from 5MWp blocks, matching a need for delivering simple and on-demand renewable energy solutions. This modular solution comprises pre-assembled and containerised movable trackers and storage units. The equipment is pre-funded and deployed through a straightforward and adaptable leasing agreement, lasting at least 5 years and up to 15 years, akin to leasing a car. The mobility of the equipment enables Release to assess its useful lifespan, enabling the company to provide cost-effective short-term contracts, even for 5-year leases. This flexibility ensures competitive pricing while maintaining high-quality service and technology.
Release is experiencing good traction in the market, particularly towards African utilities. It has projects in operation and under construction in Cameroon, South-Africa, Mexico, and South-Sudan with a total capacity of 47 MW solar PV and 20 MWh of battery storage and has additional contracts for 35 MW solar PV and 20 MWh of storage in Chad, in addition to maturing its advanced pipeline. Release intends to replicate its rapid deployment model to address shortfalls in local grid power supplies throughout the region.
“Our blended finance model facilitated the integration of impact finance into the deal structure, which Release will be able to leverage to improve its cost structure for its battery and grid connection solutions, allowing Release to offer even more competitive pricing and better value to its clients. We are delighted to support the Release team as they roll-out their critical climate technology across Africa, helping significantly reduce the emissions of the mining and utility sectors,” says Climate Fund Manager’s Darron Johnson, Head of Africa Investments
Release will now be accounted for as a joint venture investment in the group accounts of Scatec, generating an accounting gain of approximately USD 40 million in the consolidated financials at closing. There will be no impact on the proportionate financials from the transaction.
Rand Merchant Bank (“RMB”), a division of First Rand Bank Limited, acted as the sole financial advisor to Scatec on the transaction.
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Scatec is a leading renewable energy solutions provider, accelerating access to reliable and affordable clean energy emerging markets. As a long-term player, we develop, build, own, and operate renewable energy plants, with 4.4 GW in operation and under construction across four continents today. We are committed to grow our renewable energy capacity, delivered by our passionate employees and partners who are driven by a common vision of ‘Improving our Future’. Scatec is headquartered in Oslo, Norway and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ‘SCATC’. To learn more, visit www.scatec.com or connect with us on LinkedIn.
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