Updated: Enel GP sells majority stake in 730MW of wind in Mexico

MEXICO: Enel Green Power has sold its majority stake in 1.8GW of renewable projects, including more than 700MW of wind farms.

The 100MW first phase of Enel Green Power's Dominica project in San Luis Potosí

This story was first published on 10 October, 2017, when the sale was first announced. It was updated on 1 October, 2018, after the sale was closed.

The Italian utility’s renewables subsidiary sold its 80% share in three solar plants and five wind projects to Canadian institutional investor Caisse depot et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and the investment arm of Mexican pension fund CKD Infraestructura México (CKD IM) for a total $1.4 billion, the company said.

Approximately $200 million of this figure is for the sale of the majority interest in the projects, Enel said, while approximately $1.2 billion is for loans granted to the projects.

Enel Green Power will continue to operate the plants already online and will complete those still under construction through two newly formed subsidiaries. CDPQ now owns a 40.8% stake in the eight special purpose vehicles (SPVs) which own the projects, while CKD IM owns 39.2%.

Three of the wind farms – the two-phase 200MW Dominica project, the 129MW Palo Alto site and the 100MW Vientos del Altiplano wind farm – are already online. The remaining two – the 198MW Amistad project and the 103MW Salitrillos site – are both expected to be commissioned in 2019.

The transaction is part of the company’s "build, sell and operate" strategy, said EGP head Antonio Cammisecra, which enables the company "to capitalise the pipeline of renewables projects more quickly, reducing overall risk and accelerating value creation".

When the sale was announced in October 2017, he said that EGP was "enthusiastic about the opportunities offered by the Mexican renewables market", and that the company intended to continue to invest, manage operating assets and develop new initiatives in the country.

Announcing the closing of the deal one year later, EGP stated that from 1 January, 2020, it may "contribute or transfer additional projects", increase its interest in the SPVs developing the projects, or become their majority shareholder.