Foresight targets capital growth from UK Solar Power Plants with launch of Foresight Solar EIS Fund 2

Foresight Group (“Foresight”), the leading independent alternative asset manager with a strategic focus on private equity, environmental and infrastructure, announces the launch of a £20 million fundraising for Foresight Solar EIS Fund 2.

The new EIS capitalises on Foresight’s extensive experience in renewable energy.  It will invest in UK Solar Power Plants where investors can benefit from the enhanced revenue streams possible under the Government’s Renewable Obligation (RO) scheme. In addition to income derived from selling the generated electricity, generation plants accredited under the RO scheme receive 20 years of income from the sale of Renewable Obligation Certificates, which substantially increases the Solar Power Plants’ returns.

Foresight has been one of the pioneers in the European Solar market, having built a £310 million portfolio of solar assets in the UK, Italy and Spain with a capacity of 86MW.  In 2011, Foresight raised more than £65 million in aggregate, which was mainly invested in UK Solar plants before April 2012 through Foresight Solar VCT and Foresight Solar EIS.

Foresight sources its opportunities through its established network of contacts in the UK Solar sector, and has received approaches from solar entrepreneurs to finance a pipeline of opportunities worth more than £300 million.

Mike Currie, Partner of Foresight, explains: “Solar Power Plants are particularly attractive for investors because the government supported revenue streams from projects under the Renewable Obligation (RO) scheme offer enhanced returns for 20 years and the equipment involved is well-proven and reliable.  When you think that enough solar energy reaches the earth every hour to meet the world’s energy consumption for a whole year, it’s heartening to know that even with last year’s record rainfall, our solar assets in the UK are all generating ahead of base case, delivering strong returns for our investors.  We expect there to be considerable interest in this our second Solar EIS Fund.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Ben Thompson: bthompson@foresightgroup.eu / +44 (0)20 3667 8155

Notes to editors:
About Foresight

Foresight is an independent specialist private equity, infrastructure and environmental investor, which focuses primarily on investments in unquoted UK and European companies or projects and offers investors exclusive access to attractive income and growth opportunities.

Foresight has in excess of £650 million assets under management across a number of funds, including Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs).

In the solar sector, Foresight’s solar funds have already invested in more than £310 million of operating PV assets in the UK, Italy and Spain.

Foresight successfully closed fundraisings for Foresight Solar VCT at £38m, Foresight Solar EIS at £27.5m in 2011 and in 2012, fully subscribed at £33m, its unique Infrastructure VCT Shares offering – the innovative new share class which targets investments in energy generation projects and secondary PFI.

Foresight manages the most successful VCT ever*, Foresight VCT which has returned more than £1.80 in dividends to its investors since launch in 1997.
*source: Martin Churchill Tax Efficient Review