Foresight Solar Fund (FSFL) has laid claim to the top spot among UK-listed solar investors having completed the acquisition of a 114MW portfolio.
The portfolio, purchased for a total consideration of £47 million, has a total combined capacity of 114MW and sees FSFL’s total portfolio reach 788MW.
News of the acquisition comes just less than two months after Foresight said it was targeting a portfolio of 18 assets totalling 134MW, claiming at the time such a deal would be enough to see it claim top spot.
FSFL’s intentions regarding the three assets it has excluded from the completed purchase have not been disclosed.
And the purchase remains slightly complicated as the assets were acquired by FSFL from other funds managed by Foresight Group, which in turn had previously acquired them from third-party owners.
Finlay Colville, head of market research at Solar Power Portal publisher Solar Media, explained: “In fact, Foresight’s total UK large-scale portfolio is actually well above 800MW across (including phased builds) [from] more than 50 sites.
“Foresight remains the clear second-placed portfolio owner (by megawatts), below Octopus and above NextEnergy. The top six owners have almost 4GW of capacity. The top 10 have more than 5GW. There are only a few 50-100MW portfolios still available within the UK, and we would expect to see these move to some of the major players over the next 12 months.”
Alex Ohlsson, chairman at FSFL, described the acquisition as both “strategic and significant” given how it has seen the company become the largest UK-listed dedicated solar energy investment firm by installed capacity.
“The acquisition will be NAV-accretive and will further underpin our sustainable, long-term dividend policy. We are pleased to be delivering against our focused acquisition strategy and in accordance with the expected timetable,” he said.
All 15 of the assets are accredited at between 1.6 ROCs and 1.3 ROCs and have been under management by Foresight’s in-house asset management team.
The assets that make up the portfolio are;
- 10.6MW Trehawke solar farm in Cornwall, accredited at 1.6 ROCs;
- 13.2MW Homeland solar farm in Dorset, accredited at 1.6 ROCs;
- 10MW Steventon solar farm in Oxfordshire, accredited at 1.4 ROCs;
- 11.3MW Welbeck solar farm in Nottinghamshire, accredited at 1.4 ROCs;
- 3.6MW Tenfore Lane solar farm in Somerset, accredited at 1.4 ROCs;
- 6.1MW Cuckoo Grove solar farm in Pembrokeshire, accredited at 1.4 ROCs;
- 6.4MW Field House solar farm in Hampshire, accredited at 1.4 ROCs;
- 5.7MW Gedling solar farm in Nottinghamshire, accredited at 1.4 ROCs;
- 9.1MW Marsh Farm solar farm in Wiltshire, accredited at 1.4 ROCs;
- 7.7MW Abergelli solar farm in South Wales, accredited at 1.4 ROCs;
- 7.7MW Upper Huntingford solar farm in Gloucestershire, accredited at 1.3 ROCs;
- 8.1MW Yarburgh solar farm in Lincolnshire, accredited at 1.3 ROCs;
- 5MW Sheepbridge solar farm in Reading, accredited at 1.3 ROCs;
- 4.7MW Crow Trees solar farm in Nottinghamshire, accredited at 1.3 ROCs, and;
- 5MW Fields Farm solar farm in Warwickshire, accredited at 1.3 ROCs.
The acquisition is to be funded by the net proceeds of a fundraise, which totted up just over £48 million, however, the portfolio currently has debt facilities totalling £107.2 million, provided by the Royal Bank of Scotland, in place.
Foresight said it is the company’s intent to refinance the portfolio – and more of its UK assets – within the next year.