Foresight Solar eyes further capital raises

The company’s £150m IPO proceeds, as well as its £100m acquisition facility, have been committed to a portfolio of 185MW.

Foresight Solar Fund, a London-listed renewables vehicle, is looking to raise further equity to continue growing its solar portfolio.

The UK company, which announced its results for the six months to end June 2014, will distribute its first dividend – worth 3.0 pence – this month. Its net asset value (NAV) stood at £155.3 million (€194.6 million; $258.5 million) at 30 June 2014, corresponding to a NAV per share of 103.6p. This compares to a NAV per share of 98.1p at 31 December 2013.

The fund, which raised £150 million through an IPO in October 2013, has used the proceeds to buy seven UK solar assets with a capacity of 111 megawatts (MW). All of the plants are now fully operational, and all except two have reached financial completion.

In May, the company also committed to buy the Kencot and Bournemouth plants once they become operational. With a capacity of 74MW, these will be bought using a £100 million bank facility. They are due to be connected to the grid before the end of the year and will benefit from the UK’s Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) regime.

“The board and Foresight Group CI Limited, the investment manager, believe that strong progress has been made in maintaining the company’s position on the UK listed market as the largest solar specific renewable infrastructure company,” said Alexander Ohlsson, chairman of Foresight Solar Fund, in a statement.

He added that the completion of the Kencot and Bournemouth transactions would boost the fund’s combined enterprise value to £250 million.

Foresight Solar Fund is now pursuing a pipeline of additional 1.4 ROC assets that will be connected before 31 March 2015. The fund’s portfolio currently comprises assets accredited for 13.8 ROCs.

The ROC regime is scheduled to be phased out for UK solar assets over 5MW in March 2015. It will be replaced by a Contract for Difference (CfD) mechanism.