Santander finances Quercus UK solar farms

The Italian manager said the portfolio-level financing is part of its ongoing consolidation strategy, playing out in the UK, Italy and the rest of Europe.

Quercus Assets Selection has received a £13.6 million ($18.1 million; €16.2 million) loan from Santander to finance three solar farms in the UK.

The portfolio-level financing package covers the Sidlesham, Burton and Stanton solar farms, which are located in southern England and generate a combined 21.3MW. The debt package has a 10-year tenor and the solar farms, which were completed in May 2015, will benefit from a Renewable Obligation scheme for 20 years.

According to Quercus, the loan is part of its “ongoing consolidation strategy, which aims at driving returns through a meticulous process of financial and operational optimisation”. 

The clean energy investor has been applying this consolidation strategy outside of the UK as well. Last October, Diego Biasi, chief executive of Quercus, told sister publication Low Carbon Energy Investor that “Europe is the world’s most mature renewable energy market. It’s gone through an initial asset construction phase and it’s now going through a second phase of aggregation and consolidation, where a few large investors are putting together big portfolios”.

In June, a source close to Quercus said the asset manager will reach a first close on three renewable energy funds targeting Italy and Europe in late June or July. Two funds will focus on Italian solar and wind, and are targeting €150 million each. A broader European vehicle is aiming for €200 million.

Quercus has a 482MW pipeline of Italian solar assets it is considering and is planning to expand its team to help with post-acquisition activities.