Netherlands-based Photon Energy Investments (PEI), a subsidiary of Photon Energy NV, has launched European Solar Holdings NV (ESH). The entity will function as a solar asset aggregation yieldco in the European Union (EU).
Investors operating PV power plants in the EU will be able to swap their investments for shares in ESH, which hopes to make an initial public offering (IPO) of shares in 2015.
Photon Energy says ESH's investment protection is based on experience gained in arbitration proceedings brought against Spain and the Czech Republic and the expected cancellation of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT) between EU member states. The key business strategy is the aggregation of the largest possible volume of PV assets under the strongest available BIT with a safe non-EU country.
As the founding sponsor, PEI intends to contribute its 26 MW of grid-connected PV power plants in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Italy to ESH. The target portfolio size for the IPO is 250 MW. The long-term objective is to aggregate a 1 GW portfolio by 2017.
‘With no real recourse to national courts, a cynically unhelpful EU Commission and the toothless Energy Charter Treaty, investors have become sitting ducks,’ says Georg Hotar, CEO of Photon Energy.