NextEnergy Solar Fund kicks off spending spree with 5MW site

Investment group NextEnergy Solar Fund has agreed to acquire a 5MW solar farm in Essex, the first of many it is thought to be close to adding to its portfolio.

NESF has completed the share purchase agreement of Kentishes Solar Farm, located near the Essex town of Braintree, for a total investment value of £4.4 million.

The company confirmed that it is nearing completion and is set to be accredited under the 1.2 ROC scheme “well in advance” of its closure on 31 March 2017.

NESF noted that it was “familiar” with the vendor – understood to be Push Energy – having previously acquired six other solar farms from the developer. NESF’s portfolio now amounts to 34 assets with a total generation portfolio of 419MW, of which Push has developed 76.5MW.

The six previous sites Push has developed and then sold to NESF include the Birch Farm (5MW), Boxted Airfield (18.8MW), Croydon (16.5MW), Decoy (5MW), Hall Farm (5MW) and Langenhoe (21.2MW) projects.

Kentishes was originally planned to be 12.67MW in size, but ran into planning problems and was not approved until after the decision to close the Renewables Obligation scheme prematurely.

But now the site looks set to fill its original grid capacity after Push gained planning permission for the development of a battery storage facility adjacent to Kentishes Solar Park. The developer submitted plans in early September and received planning from Braintree District Council on 28 October.