Santander Bank Polska, mBank and R.POWER sign the biggest contract for financing photovoltaic projects in Poland

Santander Bank Polska and mBank signed a contract worth PLN 350m (EUR 79m) for financing a solar power plant project developed by R.POWER, the leading Polish investor and developer of photovoltaic (PV) systems. The funding will be earmarked for the construction of 128 solar power plants with a total capacity of 121 MWp, the winners of last years’ RES auction.

50% each bank holding

The transaction represents the largest financing of solar projects in Poland so far, with each bank holding a 50% share. All the power plants have won RES auctions and will sign 15-year contracts for difference providing them with a guaranteed level of electricity prices. The completion of the construction phase is expected within the next 18 months.

This is another initiative of this scale taken up by Santander Bank Polska to support the transformation of the Polish energy system. Last year, we signed the first ESG-linked loan agreement in Poland, and today we are involved in the biggest transaction providing funding for PV power plants, which will contribute to the development of the Polish RES market. Combating climate change is one of the biggest challenges we are facing. So, today we cannot speak of the future without taking bold and real actions which will reduce our negative impact on the environment.

komentuje Juan de Porras,

deputy president of the management board and head of the Corporate and Investment Banking Division in Santander Bank Polska

And adds that one of the 10 global goals of Santander for the coming years is to make it easier for entrepreneurs to access the EUR 120bn for funding green energy between 2019 and 2025, and EUR 220bn between 2019 and 2030 for other green solutions to help combat climate change.

RES projects have been supported in Poland for the past 5 years through the so-called auction system. The auctions held in 2016-2019 provided support to over 2000 installations. The energy covered with the winning offers was worth over PLN 38bn in total. As a result of the auctions, almost 154 TWh of energy were sold.

Solar energy has become competitive in terms of prices to the conventional sources of energy. In the coming years, photovoltaics and wind energy will be one of the driving forces of not only the energy sector in Poland but also the entire post-covid economy. In R.POWER we are happy to be a part of that revolution. We hope that local regulations, like in France, Germany or Italy, will support smaller, dispersed installations, which will help Poland to build solar power companies operating globally.

Tomasz Sęk

the co-founder and member of the R.POWER management board

At the end of 2019, the installed capacity of solar power plants in Poland was 1,3 GW to exceed 1,8 GW by the end of April 2020, showing a 181.42% growth over a year. The national energy and climate plan assumes an increase in the power in PV installations to ca. 16 GW by 2040. Poland, as a EU Member State, is obliged to increase the RES share in the energy mix and although the Polish PV market is still relatively small, it has been gradually growing.

mBank has been consistent in increasing its share in RES funding. It decided to provide PLN 500m for that purpose as early as in 2018. In summer 2019, mBank decided to increase that financing limit by 100% up to PLN 1bn and in March 2020 the lender increased it again – up to the record-high PLN 2bn.

We are aware of the role that institutions such as mBank have in changing the world for better. The decision to support companies from the RES sector brings us double satisfaction – we not only help entrepreneurs, but also accelerate the green transformation.

Adam Pers

the Vice-President of mBank responsible for corporate banking