Foresight invests £10m in Cornwall solar farm

UK feed-in tariffs will create 80% of the revenue for the five megawatt solar farm. Foresight is also negotiating contracts with a local utility to provide electricity to a water treatment plant.

Foresight Solar Venture Capital Trust Fund, a fund listed on the London Stock Exchange, will invest around £10 million ($15.5 million; €11.8 million) in the construction of a solar farm in Cornwall.

The five-megawatt farm will supply electricity to South West Water, a local water utility, for a water treatment plant in Cornwall, according to a statement.

Jamie Richards, partner at Foresight group and chief executive of Foresight Solar said this was, despite the “venture capital” name of the fund, an infrastructure investment in terms of risk level.

The project features a 25-year concession and will make use of recently-introduced UK feed-in tariffs, which allow government subsidies for small-scale generators of renewable energy.

Richards said 80 percent of revenue for the solar farm will be delivered by the feed-in tariff scheme and 20 percent by a power-purchase agreement. He cited the tariff rate as 29.3 pence per kilowatt hour of electricity generated.

Richards said the £10 million investment could go as high as £12 million.  He said that investment in this project would constitute about 15 percent of the fund’s capital. The fund has approximately $100 million to invest in solar opportunities.

He added that Foresight was interested in projects of “similar scale in the southern half of the UK”.

Work on the site is set to begin this spring, according to a statement.

Foresight Group is an alternative asset manager based in the UK, focusing on solar power, environmental, and private equity investments.