British Gas and solar fund sign industrial sites deal

Fund and asset manager Bluefield Partners today announced a deal to finance solar PV facilities across UK industrial and commercial sites owned by British Gas clients.

Under the terms of the cooperation agreement, Bluefield has been granted exclusivity for the funding of all commercial and industrial solar PV installed by British Gas.

Industrial customers able to offer a long-term lease on available ground or rooftop space will have a solar plant designed and installed by British Gas providing power for direct use on site.

The solar facilities installed through the partnership will ultimately be owned by Bluefield, via a Special Purpose Vehichle (SPV) company created for each project, with each facility then leased back on a long term basis, typically 25 years, to the owner of the property on which the facility sits.

Operations and maintenance of all facilities built through the partnership will be carried out by British Gas Solar.

This deal follows similar arrangements between Bluefield and other household names such as Thames Water and Toyota.

British Gas owner Centrica back in February also sold the 4.1MW ground-mounted PV array at Toyota’s car manufacturing plant in Derbyshire to Bluefield, at the time taking the firm’s investment in solar to over £40 million in the past year, with over 40 UK projects in its portfolio.

A Bluefield spokesman told Solar Power Portal that no limits had been set on the potential size of Bluefield’s investment through its partnership with British Gas. Likewise the timescale of the agreement and total capacity to be installed under it were similarly undefined, added the spokesman.

Bluefield partner Mike Rand said: “Bluefield anticipates committing significant funds to enable large-scale installation of industrial solar plants on ground and rooftops across the UK. The proven track record of Bluefield and British Gas in installing and funding industrial solar plants provides a unique proven offering for industrial customers looking to reduce their energy bills while enhancing their energy efficiency ratings."