Environmental Finance's Bond Awards 2023

Green project bond of the year: Clean Energy Connect

In December 2022, renewable energy provider Clean Energy Connect announced that it had secured JPY8.76 billion ($6.6 billion) green project bond financing for low-voltage solar plants on disused farmland across Japan, with a total aggregate output of approximately 70 MW-DC.

Ken MurataThe Clean Energy Connect Blind Pool Asset Green Project Bonds represent the first green project bond financing in Japan for a solar power project in which electricity will be sold directly to a corporate customer. The deal covers a 30-year corporate Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

Ken Murata, head of strategic solutions for Japan, Goldman Sachs, said: "Corporate PPAs have the potential to be a game changer for Japan's efforts to reach net zero."

Goldman Sachs has arranged in excess of JPY110 billion of Japanese renewable energy bonds, as the country targets carbon neutrality by 2050. This is the 23rd green project bond arranged by the bank in Japan.

Murata added: "We're honoured to have been able to partner with Clean Energy Connect on a transaction that helps to pave the way for further corporate PPAs going forward."

Deal highlights:

Issuer: Clean Energy Connect
Size: JPY8.76 billion ($6.6 billion)
Maturity: December 2 2052
Coupon: Not disclosed
Use of Proceeds: Construction of over 700 solar power plants
Credit rating: "BBB+" by Japan Credit Rating Agency, (JCR)
Other highlights: Obtained "Green 1" green evaluation by JCR