Top UK solar investor hails arrival of subsidy-free PV viability in the country

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Image: Bluefield's existing Norfolk Solar Farm in the UK.

Top UK solar investor Bluefield Solar Income Fund (BSIF) has hailed the advent of subsidy-free utility-scale solar in the UK, announcing a number of agreements to bring forward unsubsidised projects in the country.

BSIF, which is among the UK’s largest holders of built solar assets, confirmed late last week that it had entered into a “select number of agreements” and was now working through a viable pipeline of potential projects with its developer and contractor partners.

While some subsidy-free solar projects have already been built in the UK, most of the investment community had concluded that the market was still someway short of economic viability.

However that is now appearing to change, with BSIF joining the ranks of NextEnergy Solar Fund (NESF) in committing to bringing forward unsubsidised, purely merchant solar farms in the UK.

NESF has already guided that it expects to complete its maiden subsidy-free solar farm later this year, with other projects expected to commence almost immediately afterwards.

‘Much to look forward to’ for UK subsidy-free players

Bluefield said the new market of subsidy-free solar is “well suited” to its approach of working alongside project developers and contractors, but would put far greater emphasis on its ability to manage power revenues in the absence of subsidy payments.

BSIF and NESF aside, PV Tech sister publication Solar Power Portal understands further developments of operational, subsidy-free solar farms in the UK could be forthcoming as early as next month.

Solar Media’s in-house market research team has previously forecasted that as much as 500MW of subsidy-free solar could be built this year as the pipeline of projects in planning exceeds the 5GW mark.

Bluefield’s announcement comes amidst an “excellent” performance of its existing portfolio in the year ended 30 June 2019, with profits rising more than 15% to £33 million (US$41 million) in the year.

John Rennocks, chairman at BSIF, said: “We are delighted to deliver another strong set of results for our shareholders. Record earnings support our highest ever dividend, value enhancement activities support our highest ever Net Asset Value and the arrival of the non-subsidised market looks set to offer a significant opportunity for the next phase of growth for the company. Much to be pleased about and much more to look forward to.”

The prospects and challenges of European solar's new era will take centre stage at Solar Media's Solar Finance & Investment Europe (London, 5-6 February) and Large Scale Solar Europe 2020 (Lisbon, on 31 March-1 April 2020).

Read Next

April 15, 2021
Maxeon Solar Technologies intends to raise up to US$143.75 million through a share issue to help finance planned capacity expansions and R&D, with long-time partner TZS committing to an investment.
April 13, 2021
European solar investors are coming to terms with smaller returns, however banks, governments and grid operators could do more to help alleviate risk and ease investor concerns.
April 8, 2021
Green hydrogen may become cheaper than natural gas by 2050, falling by 85% over the next 30 years, but declining costs in the solar sector will be crucial for the nascent technology's growth.
March 31, 2021
Renewables investor Cubico Sustainable Investments has completed its acquisition of a European 272MW solar power platform called Grupo T-Solar from I Squared Capital.
March 30, 2021
‘Solar Module Super League’ (SMSL) member JA Solar has reported PV module shipments of 15.88GW in 2020, up from 10.26GW in 2019, a 54.8% increase year-on-year, setting new records for total shipments and shipment growth.
March 30, 2021
Local authorities in New South Wales, Australia, have given French independent power producer Neoen the green light to develop a large scale solar-plus-storage production facility in the region despite receiving 50 complaints from members of the public.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
April 20, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
April 28, 2021
4:00 - 4:30 PM CET
Solar Media Events
May 11, 2021