Foresight increases PPA interest as it warns of ‘below expectations’ performance

Foresight Solar Income Fund has significantly bolstered its stake in power purchase agreements, but warned production in 2017 will fall short of expectations.

In a statement to the market issued last week, Foresight said that it was taking advantage of currently attractive electricity prices to increase the amount of power it sells under fixed price arrangements from 7% to nearly one-third (31%).

That arrangement, which is effective from 1 December 2017 to 31 March 2019, was clinched at a weighted-average price of £43.26/MWh.

The fund said it would both limit its exposure to potential price volatility and provide greater visibility over cash forecasts.

However Foresight has also admitted that the performance of its UK solar portfolio will fall below expectations in 2017 as a result of lower than forecast irradiation and continued technical issues affecting sites it acquired from SunEdison.

Foresight’s problems with SunEdison-built sites have been longstanding and well documented. The company is now confident that these have been “substantially resolved” following a remedial plan which has been implemented by the company’s asset management team.

Irradiation meanwhile is expected to have been around 3% lower than forecast throughout the year.

But despite those issues, Foresight said they had been “significantly outweighed” by the financial compensation it had received from SunEdison through liquidated damages, adding that future production is expected to be robust.

Foresight remains among the largest holders of operational UK solar assets but has turned its attentions to international markets of late, particularly Australia

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