Foresight Solar Fund has stated that COVID-19 has caused no operational disruption so far, but it is closely monitoring the situation.
It is working closely with its investment manager, the Foresight Group, as well as its service providers to follow the impact it will have on the global economy and the company’s portfolio.
It is anticipating a further short-term reduction in power prices due to a drop in demand, but stated that it expects power prices to improve over the medium term. COVID-19 has had an impact on power demand in the UK, largely driven by the shutdown of commercial and industrial (C&I) operations as the government's lockdown comes into effect.
While there has been an increase in domestic energy use as the number of people working from home has soared, this is not enough to offset the C&I drop. For example, on 24 March, energy demand in the UK was already around 20% lower than it had been on the 3 March, according to energy tech firm Limejump.
Foresight Solar Fund has recently conducted a review of its service providers, and has said that it is confident of the businesses' resilience. It is working with its operational counterparties to ensure there is adequate business continuity plans in place to minimse operational risks, it stated.
The company released its annual results earlier in March, with its portfolio performing 3.9% above budget due to strong irradiation as well as record asset availability in 2019. After a flurry of acquisitions in 2018, the company focused on optimising its portfolio last year.
Additionally, Foresight completed the £245 million debt refinancing of a 321MW UK solar portfolio consisting of 28 assets. This allowed the company to lower the cost of its portfolio debt, unlocking shareholder value, it said.
During this “unprecedented crisis”, Foresight Solar Fund added, the health and safety of its stakeholders and staff is of primary importance.