BayWa r.e. has sold the Pingewood solar farm, close to the town of Reading in Berkshire, England, to SUSI Renewable Energy Fund II. The investment fund, advised by the Swiss-based SUSI Partners AG, focuses on investments into renewable energy projects, representing the interests of institutional investors such as pension plans and insurers. The sale was closed on 24. September.
The installation, with an output capacity of about 15 MWp, was completed in the spring and supplies electricity to the public grid under the ROC scheme. It was built on a former landfill, adding value to this brownfield conversion site. The solar farm produces some 15,000 MWh every year, supplying sufficient power for 4600 households. BayWa r.e. continues to be responsible for the plant's technical operations and management. The solar farm was financed by BayernLB, with whom BayWa r.e. has a long and successful history of collaboration.
Matthias Taft, Energy Director of BayWa AG and Chairman of the BayWa r.e. board, stated:
"This is the first of four solar farms that we shall be selling this year in Great Britain. We were able to secure a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the project, which made the investment even more attractive."
The PPA provides for sale of the power generated at a fixed price over a period of 20 years. The purchaser under the agreement is McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd, which is thus able to supply its restaurants with renewable electricity.
BayWa r.e. is currently highly active in the British market. Aside from the planned sale of the completed projects, the beginning of August saw the starting gun fired for construction work on another solar farm. The Vine Farm project in eastern England will have a capacity of 45 MWp, making it the largest individual project undertaken so far by BayWa r.e. in the field of solar energy. It is scheduled for completion in March 2016. To date, the company has constructed solar and wind farms in the UK with a total output of over 260 MW. BayWa r.e. also continues to be on the lookout for new projects.