Solarplicity completes asset sell-off to power supplier ambitions

UK solar company Solarplicity has completed the sell-off of 133MW of solar in the UK, the proceeds from which will be used to fuel its ambitions as a vertically-integrated energy company.

The firm revealed this morning that its portfolio – consisting of 22 ground-mount and six rooftop solar assets, all of which are either ROC or FiT-accredited – has been divested.

While Solarplicity said it was not naming the acquirer of the assets, it follows an announcement from investor GCP Infrastructure Investments yesterday that it had subscribed for three loan notes worth a total consideration of around £105 million to provide funding for the acquisition of a similarly-stated portfolio, with a representative confirming to Solar Power Portal that a deal had been agreed for "about 135MW".

That subscription was funded from the proceeds of GCP’s recent placing and its revolving credit facility, with an expected term ranging between 22 and 24 years.

David Elbourne, chief executive at Solarplicity, said the sale was a “major step in the evolution of Solarplicity” as it transitions to become a vertically integrated energy group.

Last year the company acquired clean utility CO2 Energy before readying a low-subsidy housing association solar model which it said could save social housing tenants as much as £200 million a year on their energy bills.

It then confirmed in September that Maas Capital was to invest £160 million in the venture in a bid to unlock total capital of £1 billion, which it intends to use to install as many as 800,000 rooftop solar systems.

“At the heart is our commitment to investing in radical new ways to provide lower energy prices for our customers without any cost to the environment. We are determined to end the ‘same old, same old’ of the big six and provide UK homes and businesses with cost-effective, green alternatives,” Elbourne added.

Solarplicity also expects that the roll-out could create as many as 1,000 jobs for the UK’s domestic solar industry.