Bluefield Solar Income Fund (BSIF) has acquired a 46.4 MWp solar portfolio that comprises two large ground mounted solar assets located in Cumbria, in the UK. Both are 1.4 ROC assets that have been operational since 2015 and approximately 60% of their projected revenues are contracted and regulated. The larger of the two assets is the 39.3 MWp Raventhorpe plant located in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire (pictured). The smaller asset is the Roanhead plant, which is a 7.1 MWp facility located in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. BSIF has paid £28.7m to acquire the equity interests in these assets, which it has funded through its revolving credit and accordion facility (RCF).
The enterprise value of the portfolio is £56.0 million, including the economic benefit of all cashflows from May 2022. The portfolio contains £27.3 million of long-term amortising debt provided by Macquarie. The assets have been acquired from Fengate Asset Management, a North American firm specialising in real assets.
As noted above, both solar sites are accredited under the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) regime with a tariff of 1.4 ROCs. In the period 2022 to 2035, the proportion of contracted and regulated revenues from the portfolio is projected to be approximately 60%.
Following the acquisition, BSIF’s total outstanding debt has increased to £537m (including drawings under its RCF of £120m) and the total installed capacity of its portfolio has grown to 813 MWp. The leverage level of the company has increased from 37% to around 40% of Gross Asset Value.
Comments from John Scott, chairman of Bluefield Solar
“We are delighted to have acquired this high-quality portfolio of operating assets from Fengate Asset Management. The portfolio includes a high proportion of contracted and regulated revenues, and so represents a natural complement to the company’s significant development pipeline of new build solar and storage projects. Furthermore, the acquisition underpins the Board’s confidence in delivering our FY 2022/23 target dividend of not less than 8.40pps (FY 2021/22: 8.12pps).”