PiP refinances £20m solar portfolio

The platform’s Multi-Strategy Infrastructure Fund bought the six UK solar plants in February from China-based Trina Solar.

Pensions Infrastructure Platform has refinanced a £20 million ($26.4 million; €22.3 million) solar portfolio, raising 18-year financing for six 5MW sites across the UK.

The sites, which benefit from the country’s Renewables Obligation Certificate scheme, are located in Kent, Midlands and Yorkshire. The sites are owned by PiP’s Multi-Strategy Infrastructure Fund, which launched in March 2016 and is targeting £600 million. Mike Weston, PiP’s chief executive, said the refinancing provides investors “with an enhanced level of return whilst maintaining conservative levels of risk and inflation correlation”.
PiP acquired the six ground-mounted solar farms from Trina Solar, a Chinese photovoltaic developer, in February.

PiP was formed to facilitate long-term investment in UK infrastructure by pension funds.

The group’s founding investors include British Airways Pensions, Lloyds TSB pension schemes, the Pension Protection Fund, Railpen, Strathclyde Pension Fund and the West Midlands Pension Fund.

The Multi-Strategy Infrastructure Fund, which marked PiP’s entry into direct investing, initially targeted £1 billion but downsized that figure to £600 million earlier this year, as investors targeted a higher risk-return profile. In April 2016, the fund hit a £125 million first close.