Gresham House is targeting subsidy-free solar with the acquisition of the Bumpers solar farm from developer Anesco.
The 12MW solar farm has been purchased through Gresham’s FIM Solar Distribution LLP fund. Construction of the asset, which sits across the Chiltern Main railway line adjacent to Ilmer Grid substation in Buckinghamshire, is currently underway. It is expected to start generating in March 2020.
It marks the sixth solar asset and the first subsidy-free solar asset Gresham has acquired from Anesco.
It was sourced, designed and fully developed by Anesco, with Anesco’s operations and maintenance (O&M) team to monitor and maintain the site for 25 years.
Wayne Cranstone, investment director at Gresham House, praised the design and construction of the farm, with the acquisition “further cementing” the longstanding relationship between the companies.
“We continue to actively expand our ground-mounted solar and battery storage portfolio, to meet the increasing demand for reliable renewable power from energy consumers and investors looking for attractive income,” Cranstone added.
The site is set to have enhanced habitat management measures, supporting at-risk bird and bat species in particular. A report from the Solar Trade Association, released last year, championed the biodiveristy benefits solar farms can enable, with the land able to be used for plant growth and wildlife enhancements.
Lily Coles, commercial director at Anesco, pointed to the established nature of ground-mounted solar and its ability to deliver “attractive” returns.
UK subsidy-free solar has been hitting the headlines of late, with Lightsource BP heralding the return of UK solar, as well as NextEnergy Solar Fund connecting its first subsidy-free asset in November and Bluefield announcing its intention to pursue subsidy-free assets.
Solar development throughout the UK and Europe will be the subject of much discussion at Solar Finance & Investment Europe, organised by Solar Power Portal publisher Solar Media. The event will take an in-depth look at the opportunities and challenges of solar finance's new era and will take place at Victoria Park Plaza between 5 – 6 February 2020. Further details of the event, including how to attend, can be found here.