SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust (SEEIT) has acquired a 69MW portfolio of onsite renewable energy projects from United Utilities Group for approximately £100 million.
The portfolio is spread across 70 sites in the Northwest of England, and made up predominantly of solar assets. In terms of total generation, solar PV represents 90%, wind 9% and hydro 1%.
Both the solar and wind assets are connected to United Utilities Water sites, powering onsite infrastructure via private wires. They are under long-term, fixed-price power purchase agreements with the water and wastewater business, covering around 74% of total revenues.
Additionally, a number of the assets benefit from 20-year Feed-in-Tariff contracts, accounting for approximately 17% of their total revenues with a weighted average life of 14.5 years remaining.
“This project is an opportunity with distinct energy efficiency characteristics, providing essential clean energy services directly to an essential end-user, thereby helping to reduce the carbon emissions associated with supply from the grid,” said Jonathan Maxwell, CEO of Sustainable Development Capital LLP.
“SEEIT is acquiring an operational on-site portfolio of scale with an investment grade counterparty, which will increase its exposure to the UK, enhancing its overall diversification by geography, technology, and counterparty.”
The acquisition has been funded using the company’s existing resources and is expected to complete in the coming months subject to standard checks.
If follows SEEIT announcing it was looking to invest more than £100 million in assets including rooftop solar in 2020, with the company continuing to build out its portfolio of assets.
Water utilities have been keen adopters of solar power in recent years, as they look for routes to decarbonise their energy intensive operations, with companies like Scottish Water, Affinity Water and Anglian Water all developing projects.
Beyond solar, United Utilities has also been looking to embrace battery energy storage at its sites, with two containerised battery storage systems successfully installed in June 2020.