Foresight and Our Generation deploy 10 million into residential solar PV

Foresight Group and Our Generation Limited have agreed an initial £10 million programme of residential solar PV installations in the UK over the next 3 months.

Foresight, which already manages solar power assets worth more than £150million, will finance the completed roof installations developed by Our Generation - an energy services company set up in conjunction with Mark Group in 2009. The partnership with Mark Group ensures Our Generation benefits from nearly four decades of energy saving experience and a workforce of more than 1,500 worldwide, making them a leading operator in the global energy saving market.

Furthermore leading energy company E.ON will be responsible for recruiting and managing the customer experience as part of its £150 million SolarExchange initiative, details of which it announced last month. The energy company’s new solar scheme could provide up to 15,000 of its customers with solar power installations costing as little as £99. The SolarExchange plan could save E.ON’s UK customers as much as £180 on their annual energy bill.

Foresight will fund the installations from its Foresight Solar VCT, which has already raised in excess of £30 million from individuals, and from the Foresight Solar EIS, its fourth dedicated solar fund which launched earlier this year. Ricardo Pineiro, Investment Manager with Foresight Group explains:

"For anyone who doubts the opportunity in UK solar PV, this deal demonstrates how quickly the momentum is building. We have had to launch the new Foresight Solar EIS fund just to cope with the demand for funding. If the opportunity develops as we expect, we will have close to £300 million of solar assets in twelve months’ time.

"We chose to work with Our Generation because quality is absolutely critical. The portfolio we build together will reflect the level of quality demanded by the biggest utility companies such as E.ON. And that in turn will help us deliver attractive returns without exposing our investors to high risks."

Our Generation are pioneers in developing innovative PV systems, covering the specification, installation and maintenance of solar systems, completely free of charge. Our Generation director, Ian Goodwin, added: "Our philosophy is to partner with market leaders, such as Foresight, to develop winning propositions. We have attracted a high level of interest in our business model to date and know that Foresight will have a key part to play as we extend our offering to a wider customer base in the future."

Roashan Patel, Head of Home Generation at E.ON, said: "We’re working hard with our more than five million customers to help get them energy fit – cutting their energy bills and reducing carbon emissions – and partnering with specialists like Foresight is proving to be a hugely successful way of doing that. The key to having a successful customer journey is providing a smooth process from first application to the final installation and beyond and that’s exactly where we come in."

Working in partnership with Mark Group, in 2009, Our Generation installed a 204 panel PV array on a school in the south of England – the largest installation of its kind anywhere in the country.

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For more information, please contact Louise Farley.

Notes:
The Government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme, which was launched in April 2010, offers attractive subsidies to schemes that are plugged into the National Grid by March 2012. The initiative is intended to boost the growth of community projects and small-scale renewable energy generation, in particular.

About Foresight Group
Foresight is an independent alternative asset manager with a strong 25 year track record and specific expertise in renewable energy, environmental infrastructure and private equity investment strategies. Foresight focuses primarily on investments in unquoted UK and European companies and offers investors exclusive access to attractive growth opportunities.

Foresight manages a number of funds, including Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs).

Foresight’s European Solar Fund achieved final close in July 2009 and has investments and local teams in three major solar jurisdictions, Italy, Spain and the UK. Transactions totalling more than 30MWs have been completed to date in operating and construction stage assets.

About Our Generation
Our Generation provides tailor made solar electricity packages to schools, businesses and homeowners, throughout the UK, completely free of charge. Systems are professionally monitored and maintained for up to 25 years with the customer paying for electricity generated at an agreed priced, for a fixed term.

For further information visit www.ourgeneration.org.uk

About E.ON
E.ON is one of the UK's leading power and gas companies – generating electricity and retailing power and gas – and is part of the E.ON group, one of the world's largest investor-owned power and gas companies. E.ON's retail business is a leading energy supplier in the UK with around
5 million electricity and gas customers, covering domestic, SME and industrial.

For further information visit www.eonenergy.com/solarexchange