The purchase from current half-owners Global Infrastructure Partners is expected to complete before this October.
It will leave ownership of the 1.2 GW Hornsea 1 eighty miles off the Yorkshire coast, now notionally worth £3.2 billion, split between half for Ørsted, three-eighths owned by Global Infrastructure Partners, and the remainder with Greencoat.
Hornsea 1 comprises 174 Siemens 7MW turbines, and entered full commercial operation in December 2019. It benefits from a 15 year contract for difference paying £175.25 per MWh at 2022 prices, and has a high load factor.
Hornsea 1 is currently 50% owned by Ørsted and 50% owned by GIP, with GIP’s stake part funded by £2.9 billion of limited recourse debt. Greencoat’s pro rata share of this limited recourse debt is £0.7 billion, giving a total enterprise value of £1.1 billion for Greencoat’s net 12.5% stake. Ørsted will continue to provide operation, maintenance and management services to the wind farm.
The acquisition is expected to be funded from cash flow and, to the extent required, Greencoat’s revolving credit facility.
Greencoat UK Wind has holdings in 45 operating UK wind farms. Assets are managed by a team at associated entity Greencoat Capital LLP, with over £7 billion of assets under management.
The wind firm’s chair Shonaid Jemmett-Page said: “As the leading independent UK wind farm owner, we are pleased to announce our investment into the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Hornsea 1 has a high load factor and high CFD price which complements our subsidy free investments.
“This transaction, once completed, will add another high quality operating asset to our portfolio and increase our net generating capacity to over 1.6GW.
“We continue to see an attractive pipeline of projects, both onshore and offshore,” Jemmett-Page observed.
“Given the size and scale that Greencoat has attained over recent years, we remain strongly positioned to deliver more value-accretive acquisitions and extend our track record of strong shareholder returns.”