Elgin Energy Solar PV Large Scale
CIP announces share acquisition of Elgin Energy and its 15GW solar project portfolio. Image: Elgin Energy

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) has announced its acquisition of a majority share in UK solar firm Elgin Energy to deliver a 15GW portfolio.

As of 2024, Elgin has delivered close to 2GW of ready-to-build solar photovoltaic (PV) and storage projects, as well as successfully securing over 30 projects from UK government-backed auctions.

The solar and storage developer’s current project pipeline of 15GW is supported by development activities in the UK, Irish, and Australian markets, covering stand-alone solar, solar co-located with battery storage, and stand-alone battery storage.

The additional investment of £250 million from CIP’s fifth flagship fund, CI V, which has a target size of over £10 billion, will further support the pipeline of projects.

Nischal Agarwal, a partner in the CIP Flagship investment team responsible for investments in Europe, said: “Elgin is a perfect fit for CIP’s investment strategy given its strong leadership and culture, market-leading development expertise, high-quality pipeline of scale and significant growth potential in markets with attractive fundamentals.

“We are well placed to support Elgin in transforming into an Independent Power Provider (IPP) with our expertise in procurement and construction.”

Ronan Kilduff, CEO of Elgin, added: “This strategic partnership reinforces our financial strength while aligning with our vision to become the leading European solar company. Given CIP’s industrial background and approach, they are an ideal partner for Elgin in its next phase of growth and transformation into an IPP.”

Industrious agreements

Both firms involved in this acquisition have previously participated in similar arrangements, with Elgin having sold sections of a portfolio and CIP being a well-seasoned acquirer of energy development companies.

For example, in July 2023, Elgin sold 100MW of solar PV projects to Pennon Power, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British water utility Pennon Group.

Pennon Power acquired the solar portfolio consisting of three projects ranging from 15MW to 50MW. All the projects are anticipated to be operational by the end of 2025 and are located in Buckinghamshire, Aberdeenshire and Cumbria.

The portfolio represents a total estimated capital investment of approximately £85 million and will have a combined generation capacity of 95GWh of electricity per year.

In terms of CIP’s history, the group partnered with Amberside Energy in February 2023 to develop a 2GW portfolio consisting of solar and battery energy storage system (BESS) projects across the UK.

CIP, under its Flagship Funds, provided capital to develop the various projects which will be included within the portfolio. Amberside will look to develop the projects with financial backing.

Amberside originates, develops and manages utility-scale solar and energy storage projects. According to the company, it has over 1GW of projects originating with over 2,000 systems managed.

Moreover, the investment management company had also partnered with Alcemi almost a year prior for the development, construction and operation of a 4GW portfolio of UK energy storage assets.

The projects were in late-stage development when the agreement was signed and are to be between 300MW and 500MW each, with a storage duration of up to four hours.

They were being developed at strategic locations that will support the transmission system by limiting the impact of network constraints, with this to help reduce the overall cost of energy for consumers as well as lower the carbon intensity of the UK power sector by ensuring better utilisation of renewable energy and therefore limiting the need for fossil fuel power generation during periods of peak demand.

Alcemi originated the projects and is to continue to develop them with the support of CIP and Alcemi’s founding investor, Susgen. Procurement activities are to be primarily led by CIP and initiated later this year ahead of the construction of the first project, which was scheduled to start in 2023.