The largest solar farm in the UK, the 33MWp plant in Wymeswold, Leicestershire, has been sold by Hazel Capital Solar and SAG Solarstrom for £43.7 million (US$70 million) to institutional investor Foresight Solar Fund. The figure excludes cash and accrued revenues of £1.3 million (US$2.08 million).
The plant was finished and connected to the grid in March 2013, after a construction phase which took only three months. Output is around 30,650MWh per year, equivalent to the energy use of 8,000 households. The installation uses Trina Solar modules and LTi inverters on a 78-hectare site. The plant received Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) at the rate of two ROCs/MWh. Foresight Solar held an initial public offering (IPO) to raise funds.
SAG Solarstrom, which built the plant in conjunction with developer Lark Energy and arranged power purchasing agreements, will now receive an inflow of liquid capital worth several million pounds. A portion of this will be tied up in cash deposits for warranties for two years. Due to market conditions in the UK, including the large number of insolvencies, SAG Solarstrom stated that its project business in the UK is unable to procure insurance for warranties that were previously available.
The necessity for cash deposits for any warranties has ‘put the brake’ on project business at the company. However SAG Solarstrom chief executive officer Dr Karl Kuhlmann stated that the company “are already holding discussions with appropriate partners regarding solutions to reduce the portion of funds committed by large-scale projects. This does not impact our plans for 2013, but we also want to implement the important measures for our project business in 2014”.