Greencoat agrees double UK wind swoop in £105m buy

The deal includes the UK’s first offshore wind farm and a project bought by JPMorgan only six months ago.

London-listed Greencoat UK Wind has boosted its portfolio with the addition of two further projects worth about £105 million ($136.3 million; €115.5 million).

The wind farms were both bought from JPMorgan Asset Management and have a combined capacity of 90MW, bringing the fund’s portfolio to 547MW.

The deal includes the acquisition of the 60MW North Hoyle project, the UK’s first ever offshore wind farm, commissioned in June 2004. Originally developed by Innogy, the £81 million site was hailed by then Prime Minister Tony Blair as “a highly significant step” for British renewables.

It has since changed ownership several times, initially in 2006 when it was incorporated into the Zephyr investment fund owned by RWE, Englefield Capital and the First Islamic Investment Bank. JPMorgan and Infracapital subsequently bought into Zephyr in 2007 and the latter earlier this year sold its share to JPMorgan. The North Hoyle project has now been spun off from the wider 360MW portfolio into the arms of Greencoat, becoming the oldest wind farm in the firm’s portfolio.

Greencoat’s second acquisition from JPMorgan is the 30MW Slieve Divena project in Northern Ireland, the second time the site has changed hands in the past six months. JPMorgan initially bought it as part of its buyout of the 409MW Terra Firma-owned Infinis portfolio, in February. As the only Northern Ireland-based asset in the transaction, Slieve Divena is understood to have been seen as an outlier in the portfolio and considered “non-core” by JPMorgan going forwards.

The project was bought by Infinis in 2011 and was one of three wind farms acquired from SSE for a total £173.6 million. It was commissioned in 2009 and has a 14-year power purchase agreement.

Both Greencoat and JPMorgan declined to comment on the matter. Greencoat also declined to provide a breakdown of the £105 million acquisition figure.