August 22, 2012

InfraRed Capital Acquires Three Cornish Solar Parks

According to a Royal Bank of Scotland press release last week:

London-based InfraRed Capital Partners Limited, one of the UK’s leading environmental infrastructure investors, has acquired three ground-mounted solar parks in Cornwall with debt financing from a consortium of banks – Royal Bank of Scotland Corporate & Institutional Banking, HSBC Bank Plc and Santander Global Banking and Markets.

The three parks in Cornwall offer up to 15MW in power and will provide enough energy to meet the demand of 5,000 homes. The plants were originally developed by SGBM’s Asset & Capital Structuring team in partnership with Low Carbon Solar, a local developer.

The press release goes on to explain that:

All three of the solar parks were accredited prior to 1 August 2011 and are unaffected by the on-going announcements and changes to the UK Feed in Tariff (FIT) regime. Looking ahead, while it is forecast there will be no large-scale solar projects such as these completed under the FIT regime going forward (as the applicable new FIT tariffs do not encourage the required level of investment), the allocation of two Renewable Obligation Certificates to solar energy projects under the government's larger scale renewable investment scheme, the Renewable Obligation, coupled with falling technology costs, provides sufficient incentive for investment into UK solar, at least for the immediate future.

According to Andrew Buglass, who is head of Energy, Structured Finance at the Royal Bank of Scotland:

We have a pipeline of project finance deals in the UK solar space that we are working on, both re-financings and acquisitions of pre-August 2011 FIT-based solar assets and larger scale opportunities under the renewables obligation.

I have made a few phone calls, but I'm afraid I've yet to establish which three solar farms are involved in this deal.

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