ROOF is primarily focused on securing PPAs with onsite customers. Image: Scott Webb (Unsplash).

Commercial solar firm Atrato Onsite Energy (ROOF) has developed a 496MW pipeline of assets, with the company expecting interest in PV to rise with the increase in energy bills.

This pipeline is made of assets with varying maturity, including 55MW of operational assets, while the remaining majority are new origination projects.

Indeed, the pipeline available to the company has grown from £318 million at its Initial Public Offering (IPO) last year to £391 million as at 1 June 2022, with the current pipeline containing eight large scale projects with an average investment value of £15 million.

In its unaudited results for the period from incorporation on 16 September 2021 to 31 March 2022, ROOF referenced the continuation of “unprecedented wholesale electricity prices”, with the monthly average EPEX spot price increasing by 337% in the 12 months to March 2022.

The company said this then drives higher retail electricity prices, with commercial consumers especially exposed to price volatility due to them not benefiting from the domestic energy cap – which rose 54% in April.

While ROOF is primarily looking to secure long-term, fixed power purchase agreements (PPAs) with onsite consumers – with c.97% of its portfolio's revenue contracted through PPAs as of 31 March 2022 – it detailed how it is a beneficiary of higher wholesale prices as it typically exports surplus generation to the grid.

“The more significant advantage of these high prices, however, is that it drives more corporate consumers towards solar generation, either via a self-funded route or through onsite PPAs, which deliver lower and more stable energy costs than grid imports, thus enlarging the company's addressable market,” it said.

This echoes findings from NatWest’s Sustainable Business Tracker, which recently found that 10% of SMEs are intending to invest in onsite generation by 2023. Meanwhile, Solar Energy UK launched a Corporate Buyers’ Guide earlier this year in light of the growing interest in commercial solar as a result of the high power prices seen over the past year.

ROOF's net asset value (NAV) is £146.1 million, while its NAV per ordinary share is 97.4p.

During the period, the company raised £150 million through its IPO, which it said made it the first UK investment trust focused predominantly on commercial rooftop solar.

Post period end, the company acquired a 6.1MW fully operational site, and is now in late-stage negotiations over £35 million – £45 million of pipeline assets that are expected to close in the next three months. A further £80 million – £90 million of assets are currently in due diligence.

As at 31 March 2022, ROOF has 976kW of installed operational capacity – with the company stating this is because it is in its initial deployment stage.

The company's board is chaired by Good Energy founder Juliet Davenport OBE, who wrote in the results: “We are excited by the outlook for onsite solar in the UK. We have been focused on building the business and intend to be the partner of choice for landlords and corporates who wish to decarbonise their estate and take advantage of low cost, renewable energy with minimal exposure to wholesale power price movement.”