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Britain’s largest solar park snapped up by Foresight

The project, in operation since last year, will provide power to a nearby paper mill while exporting surplus supply.

London-listed investment firm Foresight Solar Fund has purchased the UK’s largest solar farm.

Foresight acquired the 72MW Shotwick project, based in Wales, from the site’s joint developers WElink, British Solar Renewables and Compton Group. The firm declined to disclose the purchase price.

The project has been operational since March last year, ensuring its eligibility for subsidy support. British Solar Renewables confirmed it will continue to develop UK solar projects “in the post-subsidy era”.

Shotwick has a private wire arrangement to provide power to Finnish forestry firm UPM, which runs a nearby paper mill. Its 50MW export capacity will see it provide surplus electricity to the grid in an agreement with French energy group Engie.

The deal brings Foresight Solar Fund’s portfolio to 17 assets with a combined capacity of 420MW. The firm said it has a strong pipeline to pursue over the coming year.

Ricardo Piñeiro, recently promoted to partner at Foresight Solar, added that Shotwick “sets an exciting new precedent in scale and flexibility for cost-efficient private-wire arrangements and integration of renewable generation in the UK industrial sector”.

Utility-scale UK solar has been in the limelight of late, with both Allianz and Equitix completing deals in recent weeks for projects that rank among the largest in the country.