Bluefield Solar Income Fund (BSIF) has finished the year by adding almost 15MW to its portfolio with the acquisition of three new solar parks for a total of £16.5 million.
The 4.7MW plant in Lincolnshire and two 4.99MW plants in Norfolk are due to be operational by the end of March 2016 and qualify for 1.3 ROCs.
According to BSIF, the new plants mark the beginning of a whole raft of planned activity by the company. John Rennocks, chairman of BSIF, said: “These acquisitions are the first part of the prospective pipeline the company is pursuing which, despite the recent regulatory changes, demonstrates the continuing potential of the UK solar market.”
Solarcentury will act as the EPC contractor for the plants, warranting their performance for an initial period. The company will also undertake the ongoing operation and maintenance of the plants under separate agreements.
The announcement follows last week’s feed-in tariff reductions announced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), which saw standalone rates fall by 72% down to 0.87p/kWh. Despite this change, BSIF’s new sites are likely to have been pre-accredited and therefore protected from lowering rates of return.
According to the latest figures from DECC, a total of 272MW of standalone solar was connected last month – almost all (97%) of it pre-accredited.
Completion of the purchases brings the number of acquisitions made by the company to 62, with funding provided through the Royal Bank of Scotland revolving credit facility. The acquisitions also follow a period of fundraising for BSIF, which included adding over £30 million to its investment pot earlier this month and an announcement in October that it plans to raise funds for a pipeline of solar projects worth £270 million.