Exclusive: Silverlight aiming for 800MW UK solar portfolio

The investment firm is in discussions with existing and new investors ahead of its first acquisition drive in the UK solar market.

UK-based investment firm Silverlight Capital Partners is eyeing acquisitions of UK solar assets totalling between 600MW and 800MW, according to the company’s founder.

Leff Kapsogiorgos told Infrastructure Investor that Silverlight is exploring its options with both old and new investors ahead of the imminent investment programme, which could also target some smaller wind and hydropower projects.

Silverlight is targeting fully operational plants, with its options widened after a flurry of solar projects were built in the last two years in a race to be eligible for government subsidies before they were cut earlier this year.

Kapsogiorgos added that opportunities also exist as a result of overseas infrastructure funds largely remaining cautious about entering the UK market since the EU referendum. He hopes that Silverlight can help plug the capital shortage gap.

“Everybody was focused on building rather than selling [ahead of the deadline] and the building phase has come to an end,” he said. Kapsogiorgos contrasted the situation with markets such as Italy where “people could build and sell in a more civilised way”.

Silverlight was founded earlier this year by Kapsogiorgos and also targets investments in real estate. Kapsogiorgos was previously a co-founder of Equinox Energy Capital which alongside Elliott Management, acquired UK solar farms in the pre-construction phase, aided by a team that has followed Kapsogiorgos.

“We have merged technical and financial expertise in the team, which many people don’t have,” he explained.

In September, Equinox sold an 82.4MW UK solar portfolio covering six projects to Chinese investor United PV. Kapsogiorgos said that some of these sites were also equipped with co-located energy storage capabilities of between 500kW and 1MW, an experiment he said could be replicated on some sites the firm is currently targeting.