UK income fund Bluefield Solar has announced the refinancing and extension of its £110 million loan with NatWest, increasing it to £130 million with its maturity date extended from September 2023 to December 2039.
Bluefield Solar focuses on acquiring and managing UK-based renewable energy and storage assets an has a £870.7 million net asset value at the end of 2022. The company said in February that its increased profits in 2022 would be offset by the windfall tax on renewable energy profits.
The company said it was “pleased to announce the successful refinancing of its £110 million three-year term loan with NatWest. The original loan, 75% hedged with a swap at circa 0.35% over a notional 18-year period, had a maturity of September 2023 and has been increased to £130 million and extended in maturity to December 2039.”
Bluefield Solar added that the financing was backed by their portfolio of “15 operational solar photovoltaic (‘PV’) plants with a total installed capacity of 64 megawatt peak (‘MWp’), acquired in August 2020 using the original £110 million term loan, as well as 16 operational PV plants totalling 75MWp acquired by the company prior to 2020.”
The additional loan of £20 million will be used to provide financing for the construction of a new 48MWp solar project in Yelvertoft, Northamptonshire. Construction is due to be completed in Q4 2023.
In December, the company announced that they had purchased a 46.4MWp solar portfolio from the North American firm specialising in real assets, Fengate Asset Management, increasing its portfolio to 813MWp. The announcement followed Bluefield gaining planning consent for four projects with a capacity of nearly 200MW in Northumberland and Oxfordshire in December 2022.
John Scott, chair of Bluefield Solar, said: “We are delighted to have completed the re-financing of this three-year term loan at an all-in cost materially below current debt rates. Furthermore, it is particularly pleasing that the £20 million increase in the facility is supporting the construction of the company’s first contract for difference (CfD) backed solar PV plant. This re-financing further underpins the Board’s confidence in delivering our target FY 2022/23 dividend of not less than 8.40pps (FY 2021/22: 8.20pps).”