Bluefield puts dry powder to work

The London-listed fund, which raised £123m earlier this month, has bought a UK solar project for £5.75m.

Bluefield Solar Income Fund (Bluefield) has agreed to fund the construction of a solar plant based in Norfolk, England.

The London-listed vehicle will invest £5.75 million (€7.26 million; $9.00 million) in the ground-mounted solar photovoltaic project, which once operational will have a capacity of 5.2 megawatts peak (MWp). The plant is an extension to the Hardingham Project, an operational asset with a 14.8MWp capacity that already forms part of Bluefield’s portfolio.

The acquisition, the 25th made by the company, will be funded via the £123 million of fresh capital it raised earlier this month through a placing programme.

The company had previously said it would buy three solar farms generating 32 megawatts (MW) – transactions it started financing using a three-year revolving credit facility from Royal Bank of Scotland of up to £50 million, secured in June this year.

Bluefield also said it has exclusivity deals in place to buy another five assets with a combined generating capacity of 105MW. The total cost of the eight projects, all located in England, comes to £150 million.

While short of this target, this month’s fundraise will still allow the vehicle to make the announced acquisitions, the company said after closing the placement programme.

Bluefield last week confirmed that it continues to target a dividend of 7 pence per ordinary share for the current financial year, which ends on 30 June 2015, with the intention to increase it annually with inflation thereafter. The company declared an interim dividend for the current financial period of 3.25 pence per ordinary share at the beginning of the month.