Solar energy firm teams up with private equity investor in 200MW boost to pipeline of subsidy-free UK solar projects
Plans for six subsidy-free solar projects across Great Britain have been revealed, as part of a new joint venture between Elgin Energy and investment group Foresight.
The project aims to deliver 200MW of clean power capacity in support of the UK's net zero by 2050 target, the developers announced last week.
Peter Bolton, director of Foresight, said the firm was pursuing opportunities for our investors that can offer strong returns "from de-risked structures":
"We see solar PV enjoying a second phase of growth driven by continuing optimisation of assets and the ongoing reduction in the capital costs," he explained. "The need to meet 'net zero' targets and the potential reintroduction of government support will further encourage the deployment of utility scale solar. Elgin has a strong track record and we look forward to building our relationship into the future."
Foresight has over £3.7 billion of assets related to renewable energy infrastructure and currently manages more than 250 renewable generation assets globally, with a total generating capacity of 2.5GW. Its portfolio includes 150 solar plants and it boasts more than 1.4GW of solar generation assets around the world.
Ronan Kilduff, managing director of Elgin Energy, said: hailed the agreement as an "important partnership" that "further enhances Elgin Energy's successful transition into a post-subsidy world - fulfilling our 2020 vision of delivering large-scale, unsubsidised projects to market".
Elgin Energy has over 3GW of solar power generation in development across the UK, Ireland, and Australia. The company delivers utility scale solar projects with 20-100MW of capacity from origination through the development process to energisation. The company currently has a portfolio of 62 UK-based projects in late stage development, totalling over 2GW.
The UK solar market largely stalled in recent years following the government's controversial 2016 decision to end subsidy support for new projects.
However, plummeting technology and development costs combined with the emergence of energy storage systems and growing demand for clean power from large corporate customers has resulted in a growing pipeline of new solar farm projects that developers are confident can be built without subsidy support. This pipeline was then given a further boost earlier this year by the government's decision to allow onshore wind and solar farms to compete for price support contracts and future clean power auctions, providing developers with another viable route to market for new projects.
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