Foresight Solar Fund completes 80.9MW portfolio acquisition

Foresight Solar Fund Limited (FSFL) has acquired a portfolio of 11 operational solar farms in the UK for a total consideration of £33.1 million.

The portfolio, with a total installed capacity of 80.9MW, takes FSFL’s total capacity to 869MW, cementing the fund’s position as one of the largest asset holders in the UK.

All 11 assets are accredited under the Renewables Obligation scheme, receiving either 1.4 or 1.3 ROCs, and have been in operation for at least two years.

As is the case for many of FSFL’s recent acquisitions, the sites have been managed by Foresight Group’s in-house asset management team and will continue to be moving forward.

FSFL said the acquisition further diversified its operational portfolio – which now consists of 54 solar farms – while also enhancing operational efficiencies.

The portfolio was paid for using the proceeds of a £58 million equity issue, completed last month. Remaining surplus is to be used to repay some of Foresight Group’s existing bank facilities in order to reduce its gearing.

The portfolio does however have short-term debt facilities in place amounting to around £70 million. FSFL said it intended to optimise the portfolio’s capital structure next year, refinancing the assets and others within its portfolio that have been funded using the firm’s revolving credit facilities.

Alex Ohlsson, chairman at FSFL, said the acquisition rounded off a busy year for Foresight Solar and the UK renewables market in general.

“This acquisition further strengthens our position as the largest UK-listed dedicated solar energy investment company by installed capacity and enhances the diversification of our asset portfolio and ability to drive economies of scale.

“Whilst we do not expect our high volume of activity in the UK secondary market to continue at the same rate in 2019, as previously noted, we are pleased to complete another NAV-accretive acquisition that demonstrates our ability to secure attractive opportunities.”

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