Bluefield Acquires One of the UK’s Largest Industrial Solar Arrays from Centrica

Bluefield Partners LLP, the London based solar energy investment manager, backed by Jon Moulton has announced the acquisition of one of the largest solar arrays on an industrial site in the UK.

Built on Toyota’s vehicle manufacturing facility in Derbyshire, Bluefield acquired the 4.1MW solar array from Centrica.

The acquisition supplements Bluefield’s existing industrial solar energy portfolio, which includes over 40 sites across the UK and has seen the team close over of GBP40m of solar transactions in the past 12 months.

The plant was built by British Gas Solar, the wholly owned subsidiary of Centrica. Bluefield and British Gas Solar have an established track record in constructing solar energy assets for industrial users, the Toyota plant being one of the highest profile, having previously worked successfully in partnership in the funding, construction and operation of solar energy plants for multiple industrial companies.

Mike Rand, partner at Bluefield said “Bluefield believes that investing in industrially connected solar energy installations can provide real benefits for UK industry and the environment whilst delivering attractive investment characteristics to private and institutional investors. In addition to funding large ground based solar energy installations, Bluefield is working closely with British Gas Solar to continue funding solar energy installations for major industrial energy users in 2013”.

Chris Morrison of British Gas said “Building on their established track record in industrial energy, British Gas and Bluefield have an offering available to new industrial energy users to fund and install large scale ground and rooftop solar energy at no cost to the industrial user. Significant funding has been put in place for this offering and new opportunities are actively being sought to provide industrial users with long term, discounted, clean energy from solar in return for land or roof space.”

Bluefield view industrially connected solar energy as an attractive application of this well established technology – providing a long term energy price hedge and energy savings for the industrial consumer, environmental savings through renewable energy generation and elimination of electricity transmission losses. Bluefield’s portfolio also provides its investors with access to long-term regulated cashflows. Following recent announcements by the Department of Energy and Climate Change regarding ongoing support for solar energy through feed-in tariffs and renewable energy obligation certificates, Bluefield expects 2013 to offer significant opportunities for growth in the solar energy market in the UK and anticipates playing a key role in funding the ongoing build out of the sector.

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