Solar panels. Picture: REUTERS/FABIAN ANDRES CAMBERO
Solar panels. Picture: REUTERS/FABIAN ANDRES CAMBERO

Pele Green Energy plans to expand its wind and solar projects in Africa after raising capital with the help of Investec.

The first round of financing was done through a preference-share funding arrangement that will invest in project equity and working capital, Pele Green Energy co-founder Obakeng Molabi said, without disclosing the amount. It has taken Pele almost two years to find a financier.

“With this new deal, Investec is funding Pele at a group level, which is unique, as banks usually fund into projects, rather than fund into companies,” he said. The companies extended their relationship after working together on a Mozambican project.

Investec is providing acquisition funding to help Pele increase its 35% stake in the 36MW Touwsrivier concentrated solar project in the Western Cape, said Andre Wepener, the lender’s head of power and infrastructure finance.

The energy firm bought an additional 20% stake from France’s Soitec, to make the plant fully SA-owned, said Pele’s other co-founder, Gqi Raoleka. The bank will help supply Pele with its financing needs as they come up.

Pele plans to invest and increase its equity in a wind-farm project currently being built, and is preparing to bid on a 2,000MW emergency renewable-energy programme around August. It also plans to participate in the fifth round of SA’s renewable energy independent power producer procurement programme, expected in 2021.

“In the previous bidding rounds we managed to secure 900MW in projects, without a financing partner,” said Pele’s Raoleka. “When the next round comes, we now have a big lender behind us that will enable the company to look at double the amount of projects we did previously.”

The Italian renewable energy company Enel also recently said it is looking for a financing partner for its Africa business.

Bloomberg