US Solar Fund buys 177MWdc porfolio from Heelstone

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US Solar Fund raised US$200 million at its IPO on the London Stock Exchange in April 2019. Source: Flickr, Elias Gayles

US Solar Fund has bought a 177MWdc portfolio of 22 operating utility-scale power projects in North Carolina, Oregon and California from Heelstone Renewable Energy.

The power projects started operations between 2016 and 2018 and sell their electricity output to a variety of investment-grade off-takers under fixed-term long-term power purchase agreements (PPA), US Solar Fund said in a press release.

The average remaining term of all the PPAs is 12 years.

The London-listed investment company, which raised US$200 million in its initial public offering (IPO) in April 2019, said it will use available cash to fund the equity purchase price for acquisition.

It said that the projects will generate revenue for US Solar Fund immediately upon acquisition close, which is expected in early February.

The latest deal, together with the three previously announced transactions, represents a total commitment of approximately 70% of the net IPO proceeds, according to US Solar Fund.

Since September, the company has announced the purchase of a 39MW North Carolina PV portfolio from Greenbacker and a 128MW project in Utah from Longroad Energy Partners.

The firm will put the remaining 30% of proceeds towards refinancing the existing project-level debt with a new, smaller debt facility on “more attractive terms”.

Following that refinancing, US Solar Fund will be “fully committed and substantially invested”.

The company also said it will consider raising additional equity capital for the refinancing in order to enhance returns and fund more acquisitions.

The purchase brings US Solar Fund’s total utility-scale solar asset count to 37 sites totalling 380MWdc, according to a statement by company chairman Gillian Nott.

The prospects and challenges of solar's new era in the US will take centre stage at Solar Media's Large Scale Solar USA, scheduled to take place in Austin (Texas) on 23-24 June 2020.

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