UK developer Anesco sold to JV as it readies for rapid growth

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Anesco has developed and constructed over 115 solar farms and energy storage assets. Image: Anesco

UK-based solar developer and O&M provider Anesco has been acquired by a joint venture between US private equity firm Ara Partners and Aksiom Services Group.

The acquisition – for an undisclosed sum – comes as the company gears up to deliver what CEO Mark Futyan described as the next wave of large-scale subsidy-free solar and energy storage.

Anesco developed the UK’s first subsidy-free solar farm – the 10MW Clayhill site in Bedfordshire – in 2017, which was then sold on to GRIDSERVE in August 2020. Having developed and constructed over 115 solar farms and energy storage assets, Anesco also offers operations and maintenance (O&M) services with close to 1.2GW of renewable assets under management.

Subsidy-free solar in the UK has grown significantly in recent years, with over 1GWp-dc of subsidy-free solar PV capacity having been installed since incentives were removed by the UK government in Q1 2019, according to figures released in April by Solar Media’s in-house market research team.

As part of the acquisition of Anesco, Futyan is to continue to lead the company, having joined in February 2020 from British utility Centrica, while principle shareholder and funder, Alcentra, will exit Anesco’s shareholder base following a six-year investment partnership.

“Anesco has developed and proven a unique and high value-added commercial strategy within the UK renewables market,” said Luis Pais Correia, co-founder of Aksiom Group, which provides technical and commercial services to the European infrastructure market. He added that Anesco has significant further potential to scale rapidly in both the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

Already this year, Anesco has expanded into Northern Ireland having secured three new O&M contracts, one with Foresight, one with Downing LLP and one with Blackfinch Energy. Early in 2021, the company also unveiled a partnership with Gresham House for the development of a 200MW solar portfolio, the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of which is to be handled by Anesco. The company will provide long-term O&M of the sites following energisation, while Gresham House will fund the portfolio.

Other recent subsidy-free developments in the UK include NextEnergy Solar Fund’s 115MWp portfolio which was completed in April, Elgin Energy’s 210MW portfolio and Hive Energy’s 13MW site in Warwickshire.

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