Lightsource Renewable Energy Limited (“Lightsource”), the UK’s leading utility scale solar PV developer and operator has closed the project refinancing of four solar power stations, with a total installed capacity of 21 megawatts. NIBC Bank N.V (NIBC) provided the entire £17.4m term facility.
Also known as farms, these projects are large-scale photovoltaic systems that supply locally generated green electricity into the UK national grid. Lightsource is the UK’s leading developer and operator of solar farms with in excess of 316 MWp of operating solar power capacity in the UK across 250 sites and a strong pipeline of development projects.
Located at four different locations across the South and South West of England, the installations have been built under the Renewables Obligation (RO) subsidy regime. The four solar power stations refinanced are Little T (5.4MW), Marley Thatch (6.2MW), Newlands (4.3 MW) and Tavells Farm (5.4MW). Collectively constructed for dual use over 150 acres, these solar farms also enable sheep grazing around the panels as a form of farmland diversification. Lightsource will also create operation and maintenance jobs locally to where their solar farms are based.
NIBC acted as sole mandated lead arranger on the transaction. This is NIBC’s second transaction with Lightsource, having acted as co mandated lead arranger with the Royal Bank of Scotland plc earlier this year on a portfolio of 6 operational assets built under the Feed in Tariff (FiT).
Paul McCartie, Structured Finance Director of Lightsource, said: “We are delighted to be able to work with NIBC again, reiterating the economic growth of the solar power market. Transactions like this will become the norm as the predictable investment return that solar power provides proves increasingly attractive. As our industry matures, we hope to see a significant uptake in solar power and perhaps the development of more independent power suppliers, bringing a competitive edge to the energy market”
Emma Haight, NIBC, said: “We are delighted to support this project which represents a significant deal for NIBC Bank in the UK, and further endorses the expertise of our team. We are looking forward to supporting Lightsource on further transactions in their pipeline of solar projects across the UK. We continue to see significant opportunity in construction and operation stage solar projects under the RO regime, which we are currently pursuing alongside other renewable technologies, such as wind and biomass.”
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