Solar investment firm Foresight Solar Fund has completed the acquisition of majority stakes in three solar parks with a combined capacity of 34MW from Belectric UK-owned community investment programme Big60Million.
Foresight confirmed the deal in a statement to the market this morning, stating that it has purchased stakes in the 15MW Atherstone solar farm, a 10MW solar park in Southam, Warwickshire, and the 9MW Paddock Wood solar farm in Kent.
The two companies will manage the assets through a joint venture which will own 78% of Atherstone, 70% of Southam and 59% of Paddock Wood. The deal will leave Big60Million's investors with just one solar farm owned outright in its 3.8MW project in Willersey, as well as approximately 10.15MW worth of capacity in the three projects.
Toddington Harper, CEO of Big60Million said: “This is a great result for our industry in demonstrating that the Governments ambitions set out in the Community Energy Strategy can be achieved by combining both conventional funding methods, together with local investment”.
Foresight confirmed the acquisitions were funded using proceeds from the company’s placing last month, however Foresight has also extended its acquisition from £120 million to £150 million following negotiations with RBS and Santander.
Big60Million was created by international developer Belectric’s UK arm last year to develop community-backed solar projects, offering local residents and investors the chance to help invest in the construction of solar farms in exchange for a guaranteed annual rate of return.
The company currently has several other projects under different stages of development. Pre-construction work is underway at Big60Million’s >40MWp Swindon Solar Farm, as well as several other sub-5MW projects.
Meanwhile Foresight Solar Fund also joined rival asset management firms Bluefield Solar Income Fund and NextEnergy Solar Fund in confirming that it does not expect to suffer any financial impact caused by the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s proposal this week to close the RO for sub-5MW solar farms a year earlier than planned.
This story has been amended from its original version to include commentary from Big60Million CEO Toddington Harper.