Foresight Solar Fund completes acquisition of three solar farms in Australia totalling 117 MW

UK-based renewable investment firm Foresight Solar Fund announced this week the completion of the acquisition of the Canadian Solar portfolio consisting of three construction stage assets in Queensland, Australia, representing 117MW of peak capacity once installed.

The assets comprise the Longreach Solar Farm (17 MW), Oakey 1 Solar Farm (30 MW) and Oakey 2 Solar Farm (70 MW) with the Company acquiring 49% interests in each of Longreach and Oakey 1, and a 100% interest in Oakey 2.

Longreach and Oakey 1 are expected to connect to the grid in March 2018 and September 2018 respectively, while Oakey 2 is expected to connect to the grid in October 2018. Longreach and Oakey 1 are under construction and Oakey 2 is due to start construction now financial close has been reached.

Longreach and Oakey 1 benefit from senior debt facilities from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (“CEFC”) and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (“MUFG”) jointly totalling A$65m across both and Oakey 2 will benefit from a c. A$55m senior debt facility from CEFC.

Both Longreach and Oakey 1 have entered into 20-year Power Purchase Agreements (“PPAs”) for both power and Large-scale Generation Certificates (“LGCs”) with the Queensland Government. These contracts significantly de-risk the projects, given the low credit risk of the counterparty (Per Moody’s Aa1 rating1).

Ricardo Piñeiro, Partner of Foresight commented:

“We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of these projects and to be working once again alongside CEFC on Oakey 2. These Australian assets ensure greater diversity across the portfolio and will be making a strong contribution for our investors once operational.”

Ms Gloria Chan of the CEFC added:

“This is an exciting development for the next generation of Queensland solar. A key part of CEFC’s role in the market is to encourage critical technologies that assist in Australia’s smooth transition to a cleaner, more reliable electricity grid.”

Following the acquisition, FSFL’s portfolio comprises 23 assets with a net peak capacity of 621MW, of which a 475MW UK portfolio is fully operational and accredited, with the 146MW portfolio in Australia under construction.

This is the third Australian transaction for Foresight in 2017 following the acquisitions of Bannerton and Barcaldine, which increases Foresight’s Australian solar portfolio to 252MW across 5 sites.

Source: Press Release by Foresight Solar Fund.