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Bluefield Solar Income acquires six plants

26 January 2016 07:25

Bluefield Solar Income Fund has acquired six additional solar photovoltaic (PV) plants with an energy capacity totalling 104.5 MegaWatts Peak for GBP149m. These include three 5 MWp Solarcentury projects announced on 23 December.

The acquisitions have been funded using an amended credit facility with the Royal Bank of Scotland which increased funds available from BGP50m to GBP200m.

The company has acquired a portfolio of four operational solar PV assets totalling 94.5 MegaWatts Peak from Primrose Solar Management Limited.

The projects in the Primrose portfolio are located in Hampshire (48 MWp), Kent (17 MWp and 18 MWp) and Sussex (11.5 MWp) and have been constructed by two different contractors: Solarcentury and ib vogt.

All have been accredited for 1.4 renewable obligation certificates. The Primrose portfolio, which makes up approximately 25% of the company's portfolio, benefits from attractively priced power purchase agreements with fixed offtake prices until early 2018.

A further two new build sub-5 MWp assets have been contracted comprising a 4.99 MWp plant in Norfolk and a 4.98 MWp plant in Gloucestershire. Both plants are expected to become operational before 31 March 2016 and to qualify under the 1.3 ROC regime.

These projects, contracted with Solarcentury, follow the 15MWp of new build projects also contracted with Solarcentury in December 2015 and comprise part of a wider pipeline of projects under negotiation.

Solarcentury will act as the EPC contractor for the plants, warranting their performance for an initial period.

Solarcentury will also undertake the ongoing operation and maintenance of the plants under separate agreements. Each of the six acquisitions is part of the prospective pipeline of 258 MWp referred to in the company's prospectus published on 26 October 2015. Completion of the purchases brings the number of acquisitions made by the Company to 68 with an energy capacity in excess of 383 MWp.

The acquisitions have been fully funded through utilisation of the credit facility, which is now drawn for a total of approximately GBP139 million, with total group borrowing of GBP153.3 million.

The company also confirmed that it intends to meet or exceed its target dividend of 7.07 pence per ordinary share in respect of the current financial year, which ends on 30 June 2016, with the intention of this rising annually with RPI thereafter.

The total dividends in the previous financial year were 7.25 pence per share. On 26 October 2015, the Company declared its first interim dividend for the current financial period of 3.25 pence per ordinary share, which was paid on 15 December 2015. Chairman John Rennocks said: "This facility extension, together with the addition of a further 104.5MWp of operational or under-construction plants, puts the company in a very strong position to deliver another good year of results. As we approach the peak spring and summer seasons, we will continue to selectively invest in further plants by utilising the remainder of the facility."

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: BSIF

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