ACCIONA has arranged the first Green Letter of Credit in the European financial system with CaixaBank for a total of US$129 million.
A letter of credit is an instrument through which a financial institution guarantees a company’s payments to its suppliers; in this case, it qualifies as “green” because it is linked to a sustainable development project aimed at mitigating climate change.
The green letter of credit under which CaixaBank guaranteed the payments undertaken by ACCIONA was used to supply photovoltaic modules for the construction of the Puerto Libertad photovoltaic plant in the state of Sonora, Mexico.
The 405 MWp plant is already in commercial operation and produces enough electricity to supply 583,000 homes as well as avoiding the emission of more than 925,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.
An evaluation to ensure that the funds are allocated to a sustainable project examined both aspects of the project (supplier selection processes, impact on the local energy balance, materials used, etc.) and the criteria used by the financial institution when assessing and implementing the transaction.
ACCIONA is one of the main players in the Mexican renewable energy industry, with 1,145 MW of company-owned capacity, of which 740 MW correspond to wind farms and the remainder to the Puerto Libertad photovoltaic plant, one of the largest in Latin America. ACCIONA has also built over 1,100 MW of wind capacity for third parties in Mexico.
The use of a green letter of credit linked to sustainability factors is part of ACCIONA’s strategy to drive and support investment flows into projects that contribute to progress in a way that is compatible with mitigating climate change.
ACCIONA was a pioneer in the issuance of green bonds and in arranging the first corporate ESG-linked loan, under which the interest rate is tied to sustainability performance. At present, 25% of ACCIONA’s funding is in the form of financial instruments linked to sustainability.