UK solar received yet another boost this morning, as financiers Schroders Greencoat teamed up with developers Innova Renewables to roll out a hoped for 5GWp of UK solar farms by 2028, if not earlier.
With Schroders Greencoat tapping pension and insurance providers for long-term funds, the duo have established ISG Renewables as a new vehicle for co-development.
Along with every new energy provider, the pair flag enhancing Britain’s energy security and Net Zero ambitions as strategic goals.
A recently commissioned 10 MWp farm, Carn Nicholas near Swansea, is the partners’ first purchase. Finished in recent weeks by Innova, the project is now outputting clean electricity sufficient to offset approximately 2,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.
Two more sites, whose acquisitions are yet to be finalised, are expected to join the operational roster imminently. A further three are described be “in design and procurement” for this year.
Formerly known as Greencoat Capital LLP, Schroders Greencoat manages a 1.1GW portfolio of nearly 130 British solar farms. The parent entity now has £8.8 billion of assets under management globally.
Its first solar fund, Greencoat Solar I LP, was launched in 2016, in response to investor demand for an unlisted product investing in Britain’s operational PV farms. Greencoat Solar II LP reached its first close in September 2017 with £260m of capital from several major UK pension schemes. The UK solar business manages £1.6 billion of capital.
Complementing Schroders’ access to long-term capital, Innova will bring their construction and development projects, plus in-house expertise in the development of sites, construction, and operational management.
The new entity ISG Renewables will, says its parents, target a proportion of contracted revenues through contracts for difference, private wire supply to corporate consumers, and corporate PPAs.
For Schroders Greencoat’s investors, partner Lee Moscovitch welcomed the venture’s long-term, inflation-protected cashflows.
“We are very excited to be working closely with Innova to substantially grow our presence in the UK solar generation and storage market”, Moscovitch added.
Robin Dummett, a director at Innova, echoed his partner’s pleasure. “Grounded in shared values and ambitions in the renewable energy sector, we believe this market-leading platform, which combines Innova’s development and operational expertise with Schroders Greencoat’s longstanding reputation for delivery, has the capacity to make a major contribution to the UK’s energy security and net zero targets.