Asset management group NextEnergy Solar Farm (NESF) has completed the acquisition of a trio of ground-mount solar farms, taking its investment value beyond £300 million.

The portfolio has a total capacity of 18MW and includes the 8MW Ellough Solar 2 project which is currently under construction. The farm is scheduled to complete before 31 March 2016 and is expected to receive 1.3 ROCs under the grace period for projects that have with significant investment, however NESF will only complete the acquisition once it is accredited.

Two 5MW projects – named Decoy and Hall Farm – make up the portfolio and are expected to be complete before the end of the year. Both projects have been pre-accredited and will move to NESF should they be connected within their respective pre-accreditation windows.

The acquisitions come amidst a flurry of activity for NESF, which has now purchased six solar farms since raising £38.8 million in September, and a wider increase in activity across the entire secondary solar market.

Earlier this week John Laing took on more solar projects and Finlay Colville, head of intelligence at Solar Intelligence, said there is currently no shortage of potential sites in the UK market. He added however that the challenge is now to choose prospective sites and which developers to align themselves with.

“The market is currently a broad mix of established and new developers trying to build and flip on potential completed site assets,” Colville said.

“What is more interesting from NextEnergy's recent portfolio acquisition announcement is getting rights on sites that are potentially sub-sections of larger carved out builds.

“For example, we are now seeing sites going ahead where there are potentially 5MW parts to be incentivised under RO and FiTs, providing investors with a choice. This is further complicated by the timelines on offer to developers from the hardstop dates associated with RO and pre-accredited FiTs, with some developers potentially choosing FiT routes with a lower risk compared to ROs.

“What is emerging however is a much more complicated marketplace for investors in the next few months, as the different RO and FiT options unfold during DECC's post-consultation landscape for the industry,” Colville said.

He concluded that NextEnergy’s recent activity suggested that it was predominantly sticking with established developer and EPC options, which he said was evidence of the need to “have the lowest risk” when choosing which sites to pursue.