Cubico buys 10 UK solar projects, eyes 200MW pipeline

In addition to Western Europe, the partnership between Santander, OTPP and PSP could soon be scouting for assets in India and Poland.

Cubico Sustainable Investments, a tie-up between a Spanish bank and two Canadian pensions, has bought 10 UK operational solar projects totalling 65MW from British Solar Renewables, a local developer.

The projects were acquired over a few months and in several stages, David Swindin, head of EMEA at Cubico, told Infrastructure Investor. The portfolio, largely located in the South West of England, includes Scotland’s largest solar park in County Angus.

The transaction brings Cubico’s total portfolio to 29 assets in eight countries, representing about 1.9GW in total gross capacity across wind, solar and hydro technologies.

Cubico was established in May 2015 as a joint venture platform equally owned by Spanish bank Banco Santander and Canadian pensions Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Public Sector Pension Investment Board.

It funds its transactions through equity injections from its shareholders on a deal-by-deal basis, Swindin said, adding that this was also the case with its latest transaction. Its seed portfolio at launch comprised 19 assets, worth more than $2 billion, inherited from Santander.

The firm expects to announce further deals in the coming months across the UK and continental Europe, potentially adding fresh capacity to its platform to the tune of 200MW.

Swindin said Cubico is not planning to shift strategies as a result of Brexit, and that its shareholders, all of which are headquartered offshore, were not looking to diminish their exposure to what is currently the platform’s second-largest market.

While heavily tilted towards Europe, the firm may consider expanding to India and eastern Europe, including Poland. Last January, Cubico bought two Brazilian wind farms for 2 billion reals ($502 million; €462 million), and opened an office in São Paulo.