- Cero Generation (Cero) has completed project financing of its first corporate PPA-enabled agrivoltaic solar PV project in Italy.
- The project is amongst the first large-scale agrivoltaic solar PV plants in Italy, and construction will commence in May 2022.
- With more than 9 GW under development across more than 150 projects, Cero has one of Europe’s largest solar PV development portfolios.
- Cero is an independent portfolio company of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) operating on a stand-alone basis.
London, UK – Cero has achieved financial close of its first agrivoltaic solar PV project in Italy. The 70 MW project – known as Pontinia – is in the Province of Latina in the Lazio region and is amongst the first large-scale agrivoltaic plants in the country. It has been designed to maximise performance and efficiency and key elements of this is the use of single-axis trackers, bifacial modules, and string inverters. Construction will commence in May 2022.
Pontinia is expected to reach commercial operation in Q1 of 2023. Once completed, it will generate enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of over 47,000 homes, leading to the avoidance of around 40,000 tonnes CO2e per year. Additionally, as an agrivoltaic plant, 65% of the 135 hectares that Pontinia sits on will also be used for agricultural crops. This dual use of arable land is an increasingly important approach for the deployment of utility-scale solar projects that are integral to achieving a net-zero future.
Further positive impact will also be delivered through the collaboration between Cero and a social farm. The social farm will be responsible for cultivating crops across the site using biodynamic and fuel-efficient methods, and in doing so will provide opportunities for the reintegration of vulnerable or socially excluded people.
As one of the largest grid-parity solar projects to reach financial close in Italy, Pontinia is at the forefront of the shift to subsidy-free solar PV projects in the country. The project’s revenues are underpinned by two long-term corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) making it one of the first corporate PPA project financings in Italy. This innovative financing approach was developed in partnership with Cero’s banking partners and marks a significant milestone in renewables development and financing across Italy.
“At Cero, we view innovation as being crucial to achieving net-zero. I’m therefore proud to see this reflected in the Pontinia project through its agrivoltaic design and the structure of its financing and off-take arrangements. We look forward to continuing to bring this level of innovation into our broader pipeline of projects in Italy and other European markets.”Marta Martinez Queimadelos, CEO, Cero Generation
Cero was advised by Ashurst, and the banking partners were advised by Gianni & Origoni (legal) and RINA (technical advisory).
Cero is an independent portfolio company of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) operating on a stand-alone basis. With over 1.5 GW of solar PV capacity under development in Italy, Cero is committed to supporting the achievement of Italy’s targets to install over 50 GW of solar PV by 2030.
About Cero Generation
Cero Generation is a leading renewables platform working across Europe to support the transition to a net-zero future, for this and every generation.
Active throughout the project lifecycle, from development through to construction and operations, Cero’s highly experienced team brings world-class industrial, commercial and technical expertise to its projects.
Cero’s 11GW development portfolio is one of the largest in Europe, covering utility-scale solar as well as integrated energy storage solutions. Cero works closely with local development partners and suppliers to deliver high-quality, high-performing assets.
Cero is an independent portfolio company of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG), operating on a stand-alone basis.