Bluefield Solar Income Fund acquires six solar plants in the UK

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Bluefield Solar Income Fund acquires six solar plants in the UK

Bluefield Solar Income Fund Limited has announced that it has agreed an amended and restated facility agreement related to its Royal Bank of Scotland Revolving Credit Facility to acquire six additional solar photovoltaic plants with an energy capacity totaling 104.5 MW.

The total consideration paid for the assets is £149 million (US$216 million), including transaction costs, debt costs and working capital.

The credit facility, which increases the funds available from £50 million under the original acquisition facility up to a total of £200 million, is being provided by RBS and Investec Bank. 

A portfolio of four operational solar PV assets totaling 94.5 MW has been acquired from Primrose Solar Management Limited. The projects in the Primrose Portfolio are located in Hampshire 48 MW, Kent 17 MW and 18 MW and Sussex 11.5 MW, and have been constructed by two different contractors: Solarcentury and ib vogt. 

The Primrose Portfolio, which makes up approximately 25% of the Company's portfolio, benefits from attractively priced power purchase agreements with fixed off-take prices until early 2018.

A further two new build sub-5 MW assets have been contracted comprising a plant in Norfolk and a plant in Gloucestershire. Both plants are expected to become operational before 31 March 2016. These projects, contracted with Solarcentury, follow the 15 MW 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.

Completion of the purchases brings the number of acquisitions made by Bluefield to 68 with an energy capacity in excess of 383 MW.  The acquisitions have been fully funded through utilisation of the Credit Facility, which is now drawn for a total of approximately £139 million, with total group borrowing of £153.3 million.

John Rennocks, Chairman of the Company, stated:

"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." 

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