MEDIA RELEASE: Epuron acquires Uterne Solar
Commonwealth Bank finances purchase, becomes Australia’s first financial institution to finance solar power project of this size.
Epuron and SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) today announced that Epuron has acquired the 1-megawatt Uterne solar power plant operating in Alice Springs, Australia. Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA), Australia's leading provider of integrated financial services, has provided project financing, making it the country's first major bank to support a solar project of this size.
Uterne Solar was developed by SunPower with the support of Power and Water Corporation. Under a solar power purchase agreement, Power and Water Corporation will buy generated electricity at a guaranteed rate over a 20-year term. Following the acquisition, SunPower will continue to provide operations and maintenance services in conjunction with Ogden Power, based in Alice Springs.
"The acquisition of Uterne further demonstrates Epuron's commitment to a growing solar portfolio in the Northern Territory," said Epuron Executive Director Andrew Durran. "The project is a great addition to our 1-megawatt remote TKLN Solar project, making Epuron one of the largest solar project owners and asset managers in Australia.”
“Epuron is especially pleased to be able to project finance the acquisition through CBA, a first for a project of this size in Australia" Mr Durran said.
Uterne is comprised of high efficiency SunPower solar panels installed on the SunPower® T20 Tracker, which positions panels to follow the sun during the day, increasing daily energy production by up to 30 percent over conventional fixed-tilt installations. In August 2012, Uterne received an Engineering Excellence Award from the Institution of Engineers Australia.
"Epuron's acquisition of Uterne underscores the bankability of SunPower's industry-leading, high efficiency technology, decades of proven experience and more than 2,500 megawatts deployed globally," said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, regions. "This solar power plant has exceeded reliability and energy production expectations since it was commissioned in June 2011, and will reliably generate power and return on investment for the life of the system."
The development of Uterne was made possible with funding assistance from the Australian Government as part of its Solar Cities program. The solar power plant is a key component of the Alice Solar City program and illustrates the initiative's success in developing more sustainable energy solutions in Australia.