Foresight Solar Fund Limited - Trading Update - Agreement to acquire 1.4 ROC, 16MW Pitworthy asset

Foresight Solar Fund Limited ("The Company”) - Trading Update

Additional 16MW of solar capacity now operational and connected to the grid, bringing the Company’s total operating capacity to 100MW
 
  • The Company’s 16MW Pitworthy (Holsworthy SPV) solar power plant is now connected to the grid and operational.
  • The Company has to date invested 88% of its net IPO proceeds in operational UK solar assets.
  • Construction finance for the Company’s 37MW Kencot asset to be provided by RWE reflecting the Company’s preferred risk profile of acquiring operating assets.
  • The Company confirms its intent to deliver a target dividend of 6p per ordinary share in respect of its first financial year.
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Foresight Solar Fund Limited ("the Company") is pleased to announce that the 16MW Pitworthy (Holsworthy SPV) asset was grid connected on April 10th 2014 and is now producing electricity. Pitworthy is the fourth and final asset of a total 55MW of operational large scale UK solar power plant assets to be acquired from SunEdison as detailed in the Company’s IPO Prospectus. The plant was acquired for £19.2m and is eligible for a 1.4 ROC rate. The lower price paid for Pitworthy reflects the change in the ROC rate for the asset, resulting in 88% of net IPO proceeds being invested in operational UK solar assets.

Pitworthy was identified in the Company’s IPO Prospectus as part of the "Committed Portfolio” with legally binding contracts in place for its acquisition subject to certain conditions being met by the developer of the plants. This included the plant being built to the required standard and its successful connections to the grid. The Company, in line with its low risk strategy, did not take the construction risk for the project.

RWE Supply and Trading ("RWE”) announced today that they will provide the construction financing and technical support to construct the Company’s largest "Committed” asset. Reflecting the Company’s preferred risk profile of acquiring operating assets the 37MW Kencot power plant in Oxfordshire is expected to become operational later this year and will qualify under the 1.4 ROC rate.

The Company will not progress the Deptford Farm asset, the smallest of the "Exclusive” assets identified in the IPO Prospectus, to a binding sale and purchase status.

At IPO, the Company’s £150 million of funds were fully allocated to a "Committed Portfolio” of large scale UK solar assets. The 32MW, 2 ROC accredited, Wymeswold plant has been operational and accruing revenues for the Company since November 2013. The Company announced on 31st March 2014 the operational status of a further 40MW and on April 2nd 2014 the acquisition of the operational Spriggs Farm 12MW plant, qualifying 52MW of Company assets under the 1.6 ROC level.

In total the Company now manages an operational portfolio of 100MW of UK solar assets.

As described in the IPO Prospectus the Company has in-principle agreement for the provision of an acquisition facility of up to £100 million. This facility may be drawn to fund future acquisitions by the Company and will be repaid through utilisation of one or more of excess dividend cover, further equity issuance and/or refinancing with a long-term debt facility.

The Company continues to confirm its intent to deliver a target dividend of 6p per ordinary share in respect of its first financial year, rising annually with RPI thereafter, and enabling the Company to support its strategy to sustain the NAV, offering the potential for further capital growth.
 

For further information, please contact:

Sarah Cole
scole@foresightgroup.eu
+44 (0)20 3667 8154

Notes to editors:

About Foresight Solar Fund Limited ("The Company” or "FSFL”)
FSFL is a Jersey-registered closed-end investment company. The Company invests in ground based UK solar power assets to achieve its objective of providing Shareholders with a sustainable and increasing dividend with the potential for capital growth over the long-term.

The Company raised proceeds of £150m through an initial public offering ("IPO”) of shares on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in October 2013.

About Foresight Group
Foresight Group was established in 1984 and today is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager with over £1 billion of assets under management. As one of the UK’s leading solar infrastructure investment teams Foresight funds currently manage over £650 million in 27 separate operating Photovoltaic ("PV”) plants in the UK, the USA, Italy and Spain.

 In May 2013 Foresight executed an innovative refinancing of its existing UK solar assets through the issue of a £60m London Stock Exchange listed index-linked Solar Bond.

Foresight Group has offices in the UK, the USA and Italy.

www.foresightgroup.eu