Bluefield Solar has acquired a portfolio of 15 solar farms totalling 64.2MW for an initial £106.6m, which may rise up to £108.7 if asset life extensions are secured.
Eight sites are in the south west of England, two in west Wales and a further five across central and eastern England. 13 earn ROCs, two earn FiTs.
Including the FiT projects, the weighted average tariff for the portfolio is equivalent to circa 1.8 ROCs/MWh, with subsidies at the earliest plant starting to expire in 2033.
Bluefield has agreed a £110m three-year loan facility from NatWest. According to the company, the acquisition has been financed by a bespoke three-year, interest only, re-drawable term loan at an effective all in cost of circa 1.41% (being margin and swap rate). The firm has also elected to hedge 75% of the loan over a notional 18-year period, at a swap rate of circa 0.31% until 2038, to provide underlying rate certainty in anticipation of a refinancing scenario in or before August 2023.
Following the transaction, the Bluefield’s total outstanding debt has stands at £332.0 million and the total installed capacity of its portfolio has grown to 543 MWp.
John Rennocks, Chairman of Bluefield Solar, said: “This is an excellent acquisition by the company. It not only combines the addition of a portfolio of high ROC banded assets with bespoke low cost financing, but also enables the company to move its level of gearing in line with the board’s target. This acquisition will be immediately incremental to earnings and further underpins our projected results and dividends for the current financial year ending in June 2021 and beyond. The board and our advisor continue to carefully assess a strong pipeline of opportunities across both primary and secondary markets.”