RWE acquires substantial UK solar project

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  • RWE Supply & Trading’s acquisition creates momentum in solar park development
  • Financial and technical support
  • Solar project will avert 16,000 tons of CO2 per year

RWE Supply & Trading today announces acquisition of “Kencot Hill Solar Farm”. The 37 MWp ground-mounted solar PV project will be one of the largest in the UK and is located on a disused airfield in Oxfordshire, England.

RWE Supply & Trading’s acquisition creates momentum in the development of this solar park by providing essential financial and technical support. RWE’s proven expertise in project management provides the necessary support required to connect the project developer with the end owner. RWE Supply & Trading has appointed solar construction specialist Conergy UK Ltd., part of Conergy Group, under an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract to build the park, which is expected to come online in late summer 2014.

Once constructed, RWE will sell the solar farm to Foresight Solar Fund Limited, a LSE listed fund managed by Foresight Group, a £1 billion UK based infrastructure asset manager.

Stefan Judisch, CEO of RWE Supply & Trading: “Utilising our project development, procurement and structuring skills, including expertise from RWE Innogy, we will deliver to Foresight a substantial, fully commissioned and ROC accredited solar PV park.” This finance model is very innovative: As the first such structure for RWE in the UK solar PV market, RWE is providing the crucial construction finance required to bridge the requirements of the project developer and EPC contractors of such a renewable energy project and the requirements of institutional investors into renewables. “RWE aims in future to repeat this structure, attracting additional investors and thus helping the UK and other European governments to deliver their CO2 reduction and renewables targets”, Judisch adds.

Kencot Hill is expected to generate approx. 36 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity in its first full year of operation, which will provide around 10,000 households with electricity. When compared to average conventionally generated electricity in the UK, Kencot Hill’s electricity output will help reduce CO2 emissions by 16,000 tons per year.

About RWE Supply & Trading

RWE Supply & Trading is the interface between the RWE Group’s operational companies and global wholesale markets for energy and energy-related raw materials and a leading European energy trading house. It is the hub for all tradable commodities, in both their physical and/or derivative forms, including power, gas, coal, freight, oil, weather, emissions certificates and renewable energies.

RWE Supply & Trading is responsible for the economic optimisation of the entire non-regulated gas business of the RWE Group, including all procurement, transport, storage and LNG-related activities. The headquarters in Germany boast Europe’s largest energy trading floor, complementing the network of additional trading floors in London and Swindon, as well as subsidiary, affiliate and branch offices in Den Bosch, Geneva, Prague, Singapore, New York, Jakarta and Mumbai.

About Foresight Solar Fund Limited (“The Company” or “FSFL”)

FSFL is a Jersey-registered closed-end investment company. The Company invests in ground based UK solar power assets and raised proceeds of £150m through an initial public offering (“IPO”) of shares on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in October 2013.

About Conergy

Conergy is a leading PV Solution and Service Provider and offers its customers tailor made high-performance packages, including all relevant solar services – be it for private or commercial roofs or for multi-megawatt installations. Conergy has a strong balance sheet and is highly bankable, with 350 employees and more than 15 years of experience in the planning, construction and operation of turnkey photovoltaic plants totalling over 600 megawatts.

Conergy UK & Ireland, based in Milton Keynes, has worked on some of Britain’s most pioneering projects, including the UK’s first large scale solar farm (5MW) and a wave-shaped rooftop installation at Nationwide Building Society headquarters. The Conergy sales and service units are owned by Kawa Capital Management, Inc., an independent asset management firm based in Miami, Florida.