The solar industry in Chile is in the midst of a consolidation.
As per two sources with knowledge of the process have disclosed that SunPower Corp has placed the 100-megawatt El Pelicano solar plant up for sale, as part of its cost cutting strategy.
Sources preferred the cover of anonymity since the process has yet to be publicly announced by SunPower.
The sale process, is still in the preliminary stage and the sources did not disclose SunPower’s expected price from the sale. The solar plant is under construction is expected to be completed later this year.
The solar plant was originally funded from a debt of $222 million from a Chilean bank, three Asian banks and one European bank. It isn’t clear as to SunPower’s stake in the project, although Chile typically requires a stake of 30% to 45% equity stake.
This means that the plant is likely to fetch a price in the low hundreds of millions assuming SunPower, which declined to comment, does not trim its stake.
The sale is expected to draw a large number of buyers, said the sources, which include, Chilean companies such as Colbun and Engie Energia Chile, which in recent years have diversified into solar energy.
French energy company, EDF Energies Nouvelles, which already operates in Chile, is also seen as a potential candidate, said the sources.
The sale comes at a time when it is widely speculated that the Chilean renewables sector is on the verge of a major consolidation.
In recent years, Chile has attracted a growing number of small renewables energy companies midst high power prices and excellent solar resources. However, this has led to the same problems faced by China: overcapacity and weakening demand. However things are looking up with consolidation taking place in the industry with large players beginning to acquire their smaller rivals.