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Foresight Solar Fund to acquire 48.5% stake in 110MW Australian solar farm

CTBR Staff Writer Published 29 September 2017

London-based Foresight Solar Fund has agreed to acquire a 48.5% stake in Bannerton solar farm located in Victoria, Australia.

Foresight Solar Fund will acquire the project from a joint venture between Syncline Energy and Foresight Solar Australia (UK) for an amount of A$5.5m ($4.31m). The 110MW solar project is yet to begin operations.

The payment includes the initial payment and deferred payments which will be paid during the construction of the project. Once operational, the project will add to the company’s portfolio, with a peak installed capacity of 528MW.

Foresight stated that the consideration could be increased, if the project generates early income and construction cost savings. The project is expected for completion in next July.

Bannerton Solar Farm will benefit from a 10 year contract with the Victorian government by selling a proportion of Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) produced and a 17 year fixed-price PPA with Alinta Energy, for a proportion of the electricity being generated. The remaining electricity and LGCs will be sold at prevailing market price.

Foresight Solar Fund stated that it plans to fund the acquisition with a revolving credit facility provided by Santander Global Corporate Banking. The project will also benefit from an Australian Dollar denominated debt facility provided by the Clean Energy Finance Corp during the construction and operational phase.

Foresight Solar Fund chairman Alex Ohlsson said: "This first overseas acquisition represents the development of the Company’s international growth strategy, which sees the Company’s portfolio now reach a total of 528MW of capacity installed or under construction.

“This demonstrates the Company’s ability to grow the fund in attractive new geographies with expected attractive risk-adjusted returns, while leveraging the Investment Manager’s experience and track record in both the UK and Australia.

“This acquisition follows the Investment Manager’s move to establish an office in Sydney in early 2016 prior to bringing its first Australian asset under management, Barcaldine Solar Farm, in early 2017.”