Schroders Greencoat has revealed today (25 January) that it will complete the UK’s “largest-ever solar acquisition”, securing 53 solar farms from Toucan Energy.
With a combined capacity of 513.5MWp across sites in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the two companies secured the acquisition in a £700 million deal.
Greencoat, the renewable and energy transition infrastructure manager of UK-headquartered asset management giant Schroders, will add this solar capacity to its already existing 1.35GWp portfolio.
As reported by Solar Power Portal in November 2023, Schroders Greecoat emerged as the “leading contender” to secure the solar portfolio, with Sky News also citing investment company GLIL Infrastructure and CKI, a Hong Kong-based firm as being involved in the bidding process.
According to a statement released by Greencoat, the portfolio will be acquired by long-standing funds managed by the firm, including Greencoat Solar II LP and Greencoat Renewable Income LP, as well as recently launched mandates.
A “significant portion” is being acquired by six Local Government Pension Schemes, including Avon, Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire Funds via the Schroders Greencoat Wessex Gardens LP.
Tokyo Century is acting as a co-investor in the acquisition.
Lee Moscovitch, Partner at Schroders Greencoat, said: “We are thrilled to have agreed to acquire the largest operational solar portfolio put to market in the UK. This is a major achievement for Schroders Greencoat, particularly given the size, complexity and number of stakeholders involved in the transaction.
“We will aim to deliver reliable returns for our investors via these assets, as they continue to provide a substantial contribution to the UK’s net zero strategy. I’d like to thank the joint administrators at Interpath Advisory for their management of a thorough due diligence process, which along with our own assessments, demonstrated the high quality of the underlying assets in the portfolio.”
It is worth noting that Toucan Energy was embroiled in controversy in 2022 following an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. The investigation looked into the use of taxpayers’ money from Thurrock Council with regard to the solar farm scheme.
The result saw the developer collapse, with the main company’s creditor, Thurrock Council, having run up debts of around £1.5 billion.
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