Bluefield Solar Income Fund has acquired a portfolio of 93.2MWp of UK-based solar and wind for an equity consideration of £112.4 million.
The portfolio includes 15 solar assets with a total capacity of 64.9MWp, and four wind assets with a capacity of 28.3MWp. Five of the solar assets are accredited under the feed-in tariff (FiT) regime and ten under the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) regime with tariffs of 1.2-1.6 ROCs.
Similarly, all of the wind assets are accredited under the ROC regime with tariffs of 0.9-1.0 ROCs. Bluefield expects the proportion of fixed or regulated revenue from the portfolio between 2021 and 2025 to be approximately 57%. The portfolio has a net third party long-term debt of £74.8. million, as of the locked box date of the sale and purchase agreement, 31 December 2020.
“This, the company’s largest portfolio acquisition to date, not only marks our third purchase of operational wind assets within twelve months, but also adds a very attractively sized portfolio of highly regulated solar assets with a substantial proportion of inflation linked revenues to the company’s significant existing portfolio,” said Bluefield Solar chairman John Rennocks.
The acquisition has been financed using the company’s £100 million revolving credit facility (RCF), which is equally provided by RBSi and Santander UK. Bluefield is now fully drawn on its RCF at £200 million, and its total outstanding debt stands at approximately £591.9 million, roughly 48.8% of its Gross Asset Value.
In response, the company has also announced a new offer for subscription, with the intention of raising up to the Sterling equivalent of €8 million.
Shares are being issued at 130 pence, a 4% premium on Bluefield’s ex-dividend net asset value per share (NAV) as of 31 March 2022 and a discount of 5.8% on the closing share price yesterday (10 May 2022).
“We are delighted to announce the proposed Issue outlined in this announcement via a Placing and Offer for Subscription to pay down the company’s fully drawn credit facility and provide Bluefield Solar with further capital to grow and diversify its portfolio. The Board and our Investment Adviser continue to carefully assess a strong pipeline of opportunities across both primary and secondary markets,” said Rennocks.
Over the past nine months Bluefield has expanded its portfolio of assets by c.£325 million, with a continued focus on diversifying its portfolio into wind and storage. The company’s portfolio of assets has grown to 766MWp, and its debt to £591.9 million.
This includes acquiring two ready-to-build projects – a co-located 45MWp solar and 25MWp battery site for £5 million – and a 20MWp standalone battery storage development for £1.5 million from Shaw-Energi Ltd. In January 2022, it also purchased the entirety of Good Energy’s 47.5MW generating portfolio for up to £24.5 million.
It is continuing to eye future developments with a portfolio of opportunities totalling over 600MWp, including 108MWp of ready to build solar and 125MW of battery storage projects. The company is intending to begin construction on these in H2 2022, and energise them in H1 2023.
Additionally, Bluefield is evaluating a pipeline of over 430MWp of investments totalling £600 million. This includes near term opportunities of £120 million.
The company’s share placing and offer for subscription opened today (11 May), and will close on 25 May. The results will be issued on 26 May, and admission begins on 30 May.