London-based asset management group Foresight Solar Fund has said the UK “remains an attractive market” despite recent policy changes and confirmed it will pursue a 300MW pipeline in the second half of this year.
On Wednesday Foresight revealed that its existing portfolio of 263MW performed 7.4% above expectations during the six-month period ended 30 June, resulting in total generation of 131GWh and H1 revenues of £14.9 million.
Profit for the period reached £5.38 million, however the company did note that it expects the recent removal of the climate change levy (CCL) exemption for renewable energies to reduce its Net Asset Value – up to £277.9 million as of 30 June – by 3%.
Chancellor George Osborne’s decision to remove the CCL exemption, coupled with more recent proposals to scrap or reduce other subsidy support for solar PV, has lead to increasing concern over investor confidence in the UK but Alexander Ohlsson, chairman at Foresight Solar Fund, believes the market is still an attractive one.
The company has outlined a pipeline of assets with a total generation capacity of 300MW that it is to pursue over the next six months of the year, having last week extended its acquisition by an additional £30 million.
Ohlsson confirmed that Foresight’s immediate pipeline of assets were all either connected before 1.4ROC banding period expired on 1 April 2015 or qualify for the 1.3ROC grace period.
“Despite the changes the Board and Investment Manager believe that a combination of the investments made to date and the strong pipeline of potential opportunities currently being considered will continue to provide attractive returns together with the associated benefits of scale to shareholders over the longer term,” Ohlsson said.
Reacting to the results Finlay Colville, head of intelligence at Solar Intelligence, said Foresight remains one of the leading challengers to current market leaders Lightsource and Octopus and estimated that the company could be less selective in the marketplace in the coming months.
“Until now, Foresight has been somewhat selective in its portfolio additions, with approximately 56% coming from four well-defined developer/EPC acquisition routes. With the range of developers and SPV-owning EPCs set to increase between now and 31 March 2016 across the 450 plus sites that are targeting 1.3ROC accreditation, the percentage coming from these four routes may in fact decline, with a greater number of options available to Foresight to further increase its portfolio before April 2016,” he said.