NextEnergy Solar Fund Limited signs agreements to acquire two solar power plants in the UK

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NextEnergy Solar Fund Limited signs agreements to acquire two solar power plants in the UK

NextEnergy Solar Fund (NESF) has announced the signing of two Share Purchase Agreements (SPAs) to acquire the Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) which own the 9.3 MW Bowerhouse and the 8.5 MW Wellingborough solar power plants, respectively.

Bowerhouse, located in Somerset, will sell for up to £11.1 million (US$17.5 million) and is to be accredited under the 1.4 Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) regime. The photovoltaic (PV) plant was connected to the grid on March 27th, 2015. The SPA will be completed upon reception of the Preliminary Acceptance Certificate (PAC) which NESF expects to be issued this month.

Wellingborough, located in Northamptonshire, will receive 1.6 ROCs per MWh and will be sold by Armstrong Energy Limited for up to £10.9 million (US$17.2 million). The PV plant has already received a PAC and achieved grid connection on March 30th, 2014. The SPV will contain the equivalent of the calculated net operating income since grid connection.

In total, the transaction represents 17.8 MW of solar power capacity for roughly £22 million (US$34.6 million).

Kevin Lyon, Chairman of NESF, has commented on the transaction:

"We continue to make good progress in line with our growth objectives. The company is considering a number of additional acquisition opportunities which we will finance using our current debt facility. Given the extent of the portfolio under consideration, we expect to expand our debt facilities in short order to enable us to continue to close acquisitions rapidly on attractive assets as they mature.

Under the placing programme announced in November 2014, having raised £161 million (US$254 million) over the past eight months, we can still potentially raise in excess of £95 million (US$150 million). Given our continuing pipeline of deals, we plan to undertake further equity raises during the rest of 2015 to utilize this capacity."

NESF will make use of its £31.5 million (US$50 million) revolving credit facility to finance any consideration not covered by its available equity funding. Plans are underway to expand this debt facility. The company intends to secure further equity funding under its placement programme announced in November 2014.

Overall, NESF has now acquired 18 assets with a total capacity of 234.5 MWp.

Throughout the last two weeks we have reported on several solar deals globally:

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