Lightsource sells more projects to Octopus as part of 522MW refinancing

The UK's largest renewable energy developer, Lightsource Renewable Energy, has passed a new batch of projects to its investment partner, Octopus Investments.

Octopus announced that it had completed a £400 million refinancing of projects “owned by funds managed by Octopus Investments”. A spokesperson for Octopus confirmed that some of the 522MW covered by the deal were projects that had only recently moved from Lightsource’s ownership to that of Octopus. Some of the 74 operational projects covered by the refinancing had been on Octopus' books for longer. 

It was not clear at the time of writing how much capacity fell into that category. Lightsource declined to comment on the deal.

Lightsource has been the most prolific solar developer in the UK and has worked hand in hand with Octopus throughout this period.

Policy changes in the UK have forced the company to adjust its priorities. It switched focus to rooftop projects in response to the government’s preference only for that support to be potentially stripped away by proposals still under consultation.

“The relationship between Lightsource and Octopus has never been in doubt and while SPVs may have legally resided with Lightsource, there had been an assumption by many that ultimate ownership would reside finally at Octopus,” said Finlay Colville, head of Solar Intelligence.

“The interesting point here though may be the timing. Potentially this offers cash to Lightsource ahead of what is likely to be a rapidly moving last few months of RO project build out and acquisition leading up to 31 March 2016,” added Colville.