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Bluefield Solar buys portfolio of 15 ground-mounted solar PV plants for an initial £106.6m

BSIF

Bluefield Solar (BSIF) has acquired a UK-based portfolio of 15 operational solar photovoltaic (‘PV’) plants with a total installed capacity of 64.2 megawatt peak (MWp). In addition, BSIF has also agreed a new £110m, three-year term loan facility with NatWest.

‘Portfolio consists of 15 ground-mounted operational solar PV plants’

The acquisition was completed on 20 August 2020, for an initial cash consideration of £106.6m including working capital.  The final consideration may be increased by up to £2.1m, contingent on securing asset life extensions. 

  • The portfolio consists of 15 ground-mounted operational solar PV plants, with 8 sites clustered in the south-west of England, 2 in west Wales and a further 5 across central and eastern England. 
  • The portfolio benefits from attractive subsidies; 13 of the projects are accredited under the Renewable Obligation Certificate (‘ROC’) regime with tariffs ranging from 1.4 – 2.0 ROCs, while two of the projects are accredited under the feed-in-tariff (‘FiT’) scheme.  Including the FiT projects, the weighted average tariff for the portfolio is equivalent to circa 1.8 ROCs/MWh.  
  • In the period 2021-2033 (2033 being the year in which the subsidies on the earliest plants begin to expire), the proportion of regulated revenues from this portfolio is projected to be approximately 66% (compared to 57% for the Company’s existing portfolio).

‘Total installed capacity of its portfolio has grown to 543 MWp’

Following the transaction, BSIF’s total outstanding debt has increased to £332m and the total installed capacity of its portfolio has grown to 543 MWp.

BSIF says that debt financing enables it to achieve the aim outlined by the chairman in his June 2019 statement of optimising the company’s leverage.  Using its 31 March 2020 unaudited NAV of £418.7m as a reference, the leverage level of the company will rise from circa 34% to circa 44% of Gross Asset Value.

‘Deal allows BSIF’s gearing to move in with the board’s target’

John Rennocks, chairman of BSIF, said: “This is an excellent acquisition by the company.  It not only combines the addition of a portfolio of high ROC banded assets with bespoke low-cost financing but also enables the company to move its level of gearing in line with the board’s target.  This acquisition will be immediately incremental to earnings and further underpins our projected results and dividends for the current financial year ending in June 2021 and beyond.  The Board and our Advisor continue to carefully assess a strong pipeline of opportunities across both primary and secondary markets.”

BSIF: Bluefield Solar buys portfolio of 15 ground-mounted solar PV plants for an initial £106.6m

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