Foresight Solar Fund and Big60Million buy three solar farms

The community energy company Big60Million and the Foresight Solar Fund have joined forces to buy three operation solar farms totalling 34 MWp.

The three solar farms have been bought with cash from Foresight Solar Fund and money raised through the Big60Million Solar Bonds scheme. 

They are the 15MW Atherstone and 10MW Southam solar farms in Warwickshire, and the 9MW Paddock Wood park solar farm located in Kent. 

All three farms were connected to the Grid in March 2015 and have received Renewable Obligation Certificate (“ROC”) accreditation at the rate of 1.4ROCs/MWh.

Together the three solar farms produce enough energy to power more than 10,000 homes.

“We are delighted to have successfully completed the acquisition of three further operational solar assets, increasing Foresight Solar Fund’s operational portfolio to 267 MWp,” said Head of Solar at Foresight Group, Ricardo Pineiro.  

“By partnering with Big60Million, the local community alongside investors in Foresight Solar Fund, have been given the opportunity to benefit from the attractive, low risk return these solar power assets offers. This innovative partnership of institutional and community finance will act as a template for further co-investment opportunities as we seek to increase the community involvement in solar power generation in the UK.”

Toddington Harper, CEO of Big60Million, added: “The solar farms at Atherstone, Southam and Paddock Wood set the standard for the UK solar industry in terms of local community involvement and biodiversity enhancement. In completing this deal I am delighted that we have been able to co-invest alongside an investor with a strong track record and a genuine interest and commitment to greater community involvement. The UK government is supportive of greater community involvement in local energy generation and conservation and we’re proud at Big60Million, alongside our partner Foresight Solar Fund, to be at the forefront of this exciting movement.”     

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues