Wednesday 21 November 2018

NTR Renewables in €60m swoop for UK solar farms

NTR hived off its European wind business three years ago. Stock image
NTR hived off its European wind business three years ago. Stock image
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

NTR Renewable Energy Income Fund (II) has acquired nine operational solar assets in the UK for a total of €61.3m.

Included in the price is a deferred consideration amount of €2.6m, which will be paid on the completion of certain conditions.

This is the first transaction for the Irish investor, which has been set up to invest in onshore wind and solar assets across a number of European markets.

An earlier renewable energy infrastructure fund that was launched in 2015 is now fully invested.

The assets now being bought are so-called ground-mounted panels that have a total capacity of 38.4 megawatts.

"Our strategy for fund is to acquire both pre-construction and operational European onshore wind and solar assets, with the operational assets providing immediate yield on investment while the pre-construction assets are being built out," said NTR CEO Rosheen McGuckian.

"We are very pleased with this, our first acquisition for the fund, which consists of a well-diversified portfolio of attractive cash-yielding solar assets, providing long-term contracted revenues for our investors from the get-go."

The assets were developed by Plus Renewable Technologies, a global renewable energy and technology company that delivers renewable energy projects and asset management services. Plus Renewables CEO Paul Cheng, said that the transaction was a "testament to the quality of the group's projects".

"Our nine assets in the UK have either an attractive feed-in-tariff term of 20 years or are eligible for 1.3 ROCs - UK support scheme for renewables - providing long-term price certainty to NTR," he added.

In September, the Irish Independent reported that a portfolio of renewable energy assets put together by NTR in partnership with BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, has been put up for sale.

Shareholders in Altas Investments, the company which holds a number of legacy assets from NTR, are set for a windfall from the sale.

NTR hived off its European wind business three years ago with the remainder of its assets - including toll roads - being placed into an entity called Altas Investments.

Altas, whose shareholders include IPL Plastics - formerly One51 - was established to sell off its own assets and return money to shareholders.

Before that, in 2011, NTR and BlackRock had created a joint platform based in Dublin to invest in assets and businesses in the renewable energy sector.

Irish Independent

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