Norsk Solar Press Release 02.11.2023
2. November 2023
Norsk Solar (the “Company”) announces the following Company Updates:
- Strategic move beyond solar energy
Norsk Solar is evolving from being a solar energy provider to a technologically agnostic independent renewable power producer. This is required to achieve our vision of supplying our customers with renewable energy for up to 100% of their energy needs. Furthermore, Norsk Solar will increase its focus on scale going forward, either through single larger projects or through a portfolio approach to smaller projects. Norsk Solar will continue to focus on Vietnam, Brazil, and South Africa as core markets.
- Norsk Solar sees significant organic and inorganic growth in our South Africa portfolio, and strengthens relationship with Valinor
Norsk Solar has developed a portfolio of solar power projects in South Africa, whereby the largest and most mature to date is a 315 MW solar PV project located in the northern part of South Africa. Norsk Solar has secured land lease rights, completed the initial Environmental Impact Assessment and is now working on the in depth Environmental & Social Impact Assessment. The project has received its Cost Estimation Letter (“CEL”) from the authorities, which is an important milestone in the viability of the project.
Valinor, the owner of 46,86% of the shares in Norsk Solar, has developed a portfolio in South Africa along with its local partner Musina Flair Generation. The most mature projects in this portfolio consist of a 300 MW solar PV project as well as a 300 MW wind project, both located in the Northern Cape province. These projects have secured land lease rights, 4 out of 5 sites have received Environmental Authorizations and are awaiting their CEL. Valinor, Musina Flair Generation, and Norsk Solar have today agreed on a term sheet for combining these two projects with Norsk Solar’s 315 MW solar project in South Africa into a joint venture. This transaction is intended as an equity-in-kind settlement which will see the creation of a joint development company between the partners in South Africa. Norsk Solar will, subject to due diligence and finalization of the transaction, own 26% of the JV. This gives Norsk Solar rights to a large portfolio combining solar, wind and battery energy storage systems, and is an important step in the revised strategy of the company. Norsk Solar will be the project developer of the 915 MW portfolio with support from its JV partners. The Financial Close is planned to take place within the next 12-24 months. Norsk Solar will continue its close collaboration with Valinor as the largest owner in the combined portfolio. This is further strengthened through a Memorandum of Understanding signed with a sister company, Norsk Vind, which is Norway’s largest private wind power company. Norsk Vind will provide critical access to competence, experience and capacity within the wind domain.
“We are excited to move beyond solar energy with our significant organic and inorganic growth in South Africa and we are very pleased with strengthening our relationship with Valinor and other sister companies in the group,” says Norsk Solar CEO Torbjørn Elliot Kirkeby-Garstad.
- Strengthening relationship with Norfund and Finnfund
Through the joint ownership in the Nordic Impact Cooperation (“NIC”), Norsk Solar (34%), Norfund (33%) and Finnfund (33%) have agreed to expand their relationship in Vietnam with a joint development agreement, making Norsk Solar better positioned to accelerate its growth in Vietnam. Norsk Solar will continue to manage both the growth efforts and the asset management in the country on behalf of NIC.
Norsk Solar is happy to announce that NIC has made an investment decision, subject to certain CPs, on the Órigo II project, which will be transferred to, and jointly financed by, the NIC Platform. The off-taker Órigo Energia is the leader in the Distributed Generation market in Brazil. Norsk Solar, in partnership with NIC, has successfully commissioned the first 18 MW and started constructing the next 9 MW in the 37 MW Órigo portfolio. Furthermore, Norsk Solar has an ongoing dialogue with Órigo Energia to include additional development projects to the pipeline.
- Name change and Notice of Extraordinary General Assembly
To reflect Norsk Solar’s strategic move beyond solar energy, the Board has suggested changing the name of Norsk Solar to Norsk Renewables. The name change is subject to approval by the shareholders in an extraordinary general assembly.
- Appointed Pareto Securities as financial advisor
In order to evaluate the best strategic and financial options for the Company going forward, Norsk Solar has engaged Pareto Securities (“Pareto”). The Company will explore different structures to realize the project pipeline described above, and intends to initiate discussions with potential industrial, strategic, and financial partners. No assurances can be given as to the outcome or timing of this process. The Company does not intend to make any further public comment regarding this process until it has been completed or the Company determines that disclosure is required or appropriate.
“We really look forward to working with Pareto exploring different structures to realize our project pipeline with potential industrial, strategic, and financial partners”, adds Kirkeby-Garstad.
Attached to this press release is an updated company presentation.
About Norsk Solar:
Established in 2017 as a developer of solar renewable energy projects focused on the C&I market. The Company currently has ownership interests in a portfolio of 100 MW in operation or under construction in Vietnam, Brazil, Pakistan, and Ukraine. Norsk Solar has 40 employees and is head quartered in Stavanger, with offices in Vietnam, Brazil, and South Africa.
Ingrid Sara Grimstad Amundsgård
Tel: +47 9013 5533