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Union seals first solar deal

The German fund manager has now committed around €200m to six investments in Germany, the UK, Ireland and France.

Frankfurt-based Union Investment has acquired a solar farm near Bordeaux, south-western France.

The deal marks the first solar deal for the fund manager, whose maiden infrastructure fund had so far only invested in wind energy.

The newly acquired solar park became operational in March 2014 on a 20-hectares site. Located in Lüe, 100 kilometres south of Bordeaux, it has a generating capacity of 11.1 megawatts (MW). The vendor is French renewables developer Solaire Direct.

Launched in May 2012, the vehicle has a target of €300 million. It reached a second close on €100 million in August 2013, bringing its investment capacity to €350 million when including debt financing.

The fund has so far invested in six assets, which in addition to the Beconnais solar park comprise five onshore wind farms in Germany, the UK and Ireland. These represent a total investment commitment of €200 million.

“We intend to utilise the favourable conditions in France to make further investments,” said Christoph Schumacher, a managing director at Union.

The Beconnais solar plant benefits from a 20-year statutory feed-in tariff.