Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire a 100% interest in a portfolio of operational solar PV assets located across France for a cash consideration of €58.9m (£53.4m). The portfolio consists of 14 fully operational solar PV assets with a total installed capacity of 119.5MW. Following the purchase, ORIT will have deployed approximately 75% of its IPO proceeds. The purchase also takes ORIT into a new market. ORIT will benefit from all cash flows, from the acquired portfolio, from 1 January 2020.
All of the 14 assets benefit from feed-in-tariffs (“FiT”) under the French 2011 Tariff Order and 2011 Call for Tenders regimes. These apply to all of their output. The assets began operating between 2013 and 2015 and, at the time of signing, have an average of 12.7 years remaining under the FiT contracts and an average remaining life of 27.3 years. The portfolio, which has €99m of existing project finance from Hamburg Commercial Bank, is being acquired from one of the renewable funds that Samsung Securities has invested in and a minority investor. The Company will receive the economic benefit of all cash flows from the portfolio from 1 January 2020.
Comments from Phil Austin, Chairman of ORIT
“I am delighted to announce the acquisition of this portfolio of subsidised French solar farms, expected to produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of 48,000 French homes annually. With this acquisition we have now committed c.75% of the funds raised at IPO and have opened up a third market for ORIT, marking a further step towards building a diversified portfolio of renewable energy assets. It is particularly pleasing that the Octopus Renewables team have been able to continue originating and transacting on high quality deal flow throughout the COVID crisis.”
Comments from Chris Gaydon, Investment Director at Octopus Renewables
“As one of the UK and Europe’s leading investors in renewables, Octopus Renewables has long considered the French market as having favourable conditions for growth and investment. Octopus Renewables already has a strong presence in France and so we’re delighted to be able to secure this acquisition for ORIT. It builds on our ambition to accelerate the clean energy transition and create a legacy for the next generation to mitigate the effects of climate change.”