The applicant is a resident company specialising in renewable energy utilities. It proposed setting up multiple en commandite partnerships with various resident individuals, trusts or companies
(limited partners), which partnerships will invest in solar energy generation assets (assets). The partnerships will generate and sell electricity to end users in terms of PPAs concluded with its clients.
Each partnership will be ringfenced in respect of projects to be invested into in a particular year of assessment. They will be closed off once the number of partners have reached 20 persons.
The assets to be procured by the partnership will include solar photovoltaic panels, cables, batteries and inverters. The acquisition of the assets will be partially funded by the applicant and partially in terms of agreements between the limited partners and third parties, which third parties will provide funding to the limited partners of up to 95% of the value of the assets in terms of ICAs. The material terms of the ICAs will be as follows –
• the finance period will be for a minimum period of 12 months;
• the financed amount will carry finance charges; and
• the financed assets will constitute security for adherence by the partners of their obligations under the ICA. In the event of a default, the financier will become entitled to the income generated by the assets.
PPAs will be concluded between the applicant and its clients, which clients will pay for the use of the electricity generated by the assets which are, or will be, owned by the partnerships and installed at the clients’ premises. The partnerships will purchase existing systems installed by the applicant; alternatively, acquire and install the assets for the specific purpose of generating and
selling electricity under the signed PPAs.
When a limited partner joins the partnership, they will be required to sign a deed of adherence, setting out the value of assets so to be acquired, which value will represent the capital contribution by the limited partner, and which amount will be used solely for the purpose of
acquiring the assets. The limited partner, as well as the third-party financier, will make payment of the respective amounts into the partnership’s bank account, which funds will then be used by the partnership to make payment of the amount required to acquire the assets.
If not already installed, the assets so acquired will be installed by a service provider appointed by
the applicant, under an outsourcing agreement. All operations will be outsourced to the applicant, including agreements for insurance and maintenance of the assets. Management fees will be payable to the applicant, as well as the fees payable for the services outsourced to the applicant.
The profits generated in respect of the assets owned by the partnerships will be paid to the limited partners in proportion to their interests therein, and with reference to the value of their capital contributions over the life of the assets.