Acquisitions mark John Laing’s solar debut

The UK developer has made its first move into the solar energy sector through the pending purchase of two operational solar parks in the south of England.

John Laing, the UK developer, has signed contracts for the acquisition of two operational solar parks in southern England. The purchases represent John Laing’s first move into the solar energy sector, according to a statement issued by the firm.

The two solar parks are Five Oaks in Billingshurst, West Sussex, and Fryingdown near Basingstoke in Hampshire. John Laing says it is a “100 percent investor” in the projects but has not revealed how much is to be invested. 

Fully operational since December 2011, the parks have a combined peak energy capacity of 9.8 megawatts – which means they export to the grid the equivalent of around 3,000 homes’ annual electricity consumption. Both of the parks benefit from long-term feed-in tariff payments, which are fixed for 25 years, and have secured contracts with “one of the UK’s big six energy suppliers”.

“This has been an extremely exciting project, not only because of the unique nature of the deal but also because this is a significant milestone in the development of the John Laing business in the renewable energy sector,” said Andy Harmer, head of environmental infrastructure for John Laing, in the statement.

WHEB Infrastructure and DLA Piper are acting as financial and legal advisers, respectively, on the project.