Conergy, RWE form solar leasing partnership

Mon Jul 7, 2014 3:30am EDT

Related Topics

* Conergy to design plants, supply components

* Buys UK solar project rights worth 200 mln pounds

* Strikes $60 mln financing deal

FRANKFURT, July 7 (Reuters) - Solar group Conergy and German utility RWE have struck a deal to lease out solar systems for a monthly fee, hoping commercial clients will install the technology on factories, warehouses and offices to lower their energy bills.

Under the partnership, RWE will market solar systems with a peak output of between 50 and 200 to existing and new customers, while Conergy will design the plants, supply components and offer operations and maintenance services.

No financial details were disclosed.

"Conergy's global strategy has moved to focus on overcoming the biggest barriers to the wider adoption of solar. Business customers want flexible finance options, and they also want investment certainty," Conergy Chief Operating Officer Alexander Gorski said in a statement on Monday.

The deal comes as RWE scrambles for new business opportunities as it labours under a 31.5 billion euro ($42.3 billion) debt pile and tepid demand in its core European market.

Conergy, majority-owned by Miami-based asset manager Kawa Capital Management, said the service would initially start in Germany, where pilot projects have resulted in average energy cost savings of 10 percent.

Conergy also said it had acquired a portfolio of rights to solar projects from British renewables group Lumicity that, on completion, would have a potential value of about 200 million pounds ($340.3 million).

In addition, Conergy said it would build a 21 megawatt peak (MWp) power plant in the suburbs of Bristol, western England, raising Conergy's total capacity additions in the UK to 126 MWp year-to-date.

To finance further growth, Conergy said it had agreed a $60 million bank guarantee facility arranged by Deutsche Bank and financed by Tennenbaum Capital Partners. ($1 = 0.5877 British Pounds) ($1 = 0.7331 Euros) (Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by David Holmes)

FILED UNDER: