Macquarie acquires stake in UK solar developer Island Green Power

Macquarie Asset Management is looking to expand its presence in the solar sector through the acquisition of a stake in Island Green Power.

Macquarie Green Investment Group Renewable Energy Fund 2 (MGREF2) has acquired a 50% stake in UK renewable developer Island Green Power.

Concurrent to this, Macquarie Asset Management – which manages the MGREF2 on behalf of its institutional investors – has also acquired a stake in a 65MW ready-to-build solar project in Suffolk, UK. The site may also include a 50MW battery storage asset.

“Solar energy is a cornerstone technology that will play a central role in helping countries meet their net zero targets,” said David Tilstone, managing director at Macquarie Asset Management.

Over the last decade, Island Green Power has developed more than 1GW of renewable energy assets, predominantly in the UK and Spain. It currently has a pipeline of 11GW, which Macquarie will now invest in alongside Island Green Power’s current shareholders and senior management team.

In October 2021, the developer announced a framework agreement with oil and gas major Shell for the development of 700MW of generating capacity.

Island Green Power is also looking to develop over 1GW of solar in the east midlands, taking advantage of grid capacity created by the closure of the Cottam and West Burton A coal plants.

“With Macquarie’s support to further accelerate our growth ambitions, we are well-positioned alongside our investment partners to play a leading role in the energy revolution and deliver long-term energy security,” said Ian Lawrie, chief executive officer of Island Green Power.

“Macquarie’s expertise in the renewable energy sector will also be instrumental in supporting the development of our current and future solar and battery projects.”

The deal follows MGREF2 acquiring energy platform Apex Energies Group, as well as agreeing to acquire French solar developer Reden Solar as part of a wider consortium including British Columbia Investment Management Corporation and MEAG.

In the UK market, Macquarie’s Green Investment Group has signed a joint venture with Enso Energy, targeting 1GW of subsidy-free solar capacity across England and Wales. The first two of these sites, the 49.9MW Larks Green Solar Farm and 40MW Walpole Bank Solar Farm, were approved in January 2021.

It has also acquired a portfolio of 187MWh of late-stage development battery storage projects from Capbal Limited. The first asset within this portfolio – a 40MW/40MWh battery located in Maldon, Essex – reached financial close in December 2021.

This year, Macquarie Asset Management provided £275 million of debt financing with a 13-year tenor to Vantage RE, for the refinancing of a UK solar portfolio totalling 365MW.