14 May 2009 - Foresight Group (“Foresight”), a leading alternative asset manager, announced today that it has acquired a 9MWp solar PV Plant from Banco Santander (“Santander”) in the Castilla La Mancha region of Spain for an undisclosed sum.
Foresight has acquired the plant, which has been fully operational since July 2008, from Santander who financed the plant through its development and construction phase. It was constructed, and is operated and maintained, by BP Solar, a leading solar PV contractor and manufacturer with more than 30 years experience in the solar field, who will continue to operate the plant following the acquisition by Foresight. The plant is a fixed installation and has been constructed to a very high standard using BP Solar’s own manufactured PV modules.
The plant benefits from an attractive feed-in tariff provided under Spanish Royal Decree 661/2007, a 25 year fixed (indexed) feed in tariff which is no longer accessible to new projects. As a fully operational plant, the project further diversifies Foresight’s existing 20MW solar portfolio, which includes two other projects currently under construction in Italy.
Jamie Richards, who manages Foresight’s solar fund, comments:
“This acquisition has expanded our portfolio of European solar investments, doubling our current capacity and building our presence in the highly attractive Spanish secondaries market. With further transactions in negotiation and growing demand from investors looking for an attractive yield on low risk assets, we continue to accept funds from new investors to support our investment programme in Italy and Spain and the expansion of our geographical reach to new markets including Greece and the US.”
Pietro Zerauschek, who led the transaction for Foresight, adds:
“Working with an established team of advisors in Spain enables us to evaluate a wide range of secondary opportunities in the Spanish solar market and, more importantly allows us to transact deals quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, working with established solar PV contractors such as BP Solar, under whose contract this plant has strongly outperformed its anticipated output, enables us to ensure high levels of service across our portfolio which is a key consideration for future potential acquirers of the portfolio of assets we are creating.”
Foresight’s first European Solar Fund was launched in November 2008 and to date has raised more than €40 million. The first transactions, in which Foresight financed two plants in Italy with a capacity of 10MW, were completed in March 2009.