NextEnergy Solar Fnd

Strategy/Company/Ops Update

RNS Number : 7202H
NextEnergy Solar Fund Limited
08 April 2022
 

LEI: 213800ZPHCBDDSQH5447

8 April 2022

 

NextEnergy Solar Fund Limited

 

("NESF" or the "Company")

 

 

Construction of 36MW UK Subsidy-Free Solar Plant - Whitecross

 

NextEnergy Solar Fund, the specialist solar power renewable energy investment company, is pleased to announce that it has commenced construction of Whitecross, a 36MW, subsidy-free utility solar plant, located in Lincolnshire.  The original construction date of the asset was deferred from H2 2021 due to material volatility in the solar PV module supply chain post covid which has since stabilised.  The asset is now expected to be energised during the first quarter of 2023 and will generate electricity for approximately 10,000 households' yearly electricity consumption with renewable power.

 

Whitecross will join the Company's other three operating subsidy-free solar plants, Staughton (50MW), High Garret (8.4MW), and Hall Farm 2 (5.4MW), which together with Whitecross comprise c.100MW of NESF's 150MW target in subsidy-free solar capacity.

 

Both the Engineering, Procurement and Construction ("EPC") contractor, and the solar PV module supplier have been selected and secured for the build.

 

Following a rigorous selection process, NESF selected Jinko Solar to supply solar modules to Whitecross, having agreed to the adoption of NESF's Supplier Code of Conduct policies and procedures.  NESF continues to implement high Environmental, Social, Governance ("ESG") and technical standards within its supply chain process.

 

The plant will be constructed by EPC GEMEC UK LTD who have a solid track record in successfully completing post-subsidy solar plants for NESF, having previously constructed Staughton (50MW), High Garrett (8.4MW), and Bosworth (5.4MW). 

 

Whitecross will benefit from the latest available solar technology from Jinko Solar called "N-type solar cells", a bi-facial solar technology offering superior power density and efficiency with a recently set world record for solar cell efficiency.  NESF will receive long-term benefits from this technology as it decreases the land footprint necessary for Whitecross's installed capacity, optimising land use and performance of the solar plant.  Crucially, Whitecross will rapidly bring extra power capacity to the market and contribute to the reduction of fossil fuels used for power generation in the UK, against the current backdrop of unprecedented and sustained higher power prices.

 

NextEnergy Capital, the Company's investment manager, is one of the leading constructors of post-subsidy solar in the UK market.  NextEnergy Capital continues to push forward with the next wave of solar deployment in the UK, delivering tangible progress in the UK's drive to Net Zero power production.

 

 

 

 

For further information:

NextEnergy Capital Group

020 3746 0700

Michael Bonte-Friedheim

[email protected]

Aldo Beolchini

 

Ross Grier

 

Peter Hamid (Investor Relations)

 

 

 

RBC Capital Markets

020 7653 4000

Matthew Coakes

 

Elizabeth Evans

 

Kathryn Deegan

 

 

 

Cenkos Securities

020 7397 8900

James King

 

William Talkington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camarco

020 3781 8334

Owen Roberts

 

Eddie Livingstone-Learmonth

 

 

 

Ocorian Administration (Guernsey) Limited

014 8174 2642

Kevin Smith

 

 

 

 

Notes to Editors1:

 

About NextEnergy Solar Fund

NESF is a specialist solar power renewable energy investment company listed on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange that invests in utility-scale solar power plants and energy storage.  The Company may invest up to 30% of its gross asset value in non-UK OECD countries, 15% in solar-focused private equity structures, and 10% in energy storage.

 

NESF currently has a diversified portfolio comprising of the following:

· 99 operating solar assets across the UK and Italy (primarily on agricultural, industrial, and commercial sites)

· A $50m commitment into NextPower III ESG (a private solar infrastructure fund providing exposure to operating and in-development international solar assets)

· A 50MW co-investment into a Spanish solar project alongside NextPower III ESG, currently in construction

· A 50MW standalone battery storage project in Fife, Scotland, currently in construction (part of a 250MW joint venture with Eelpower)

· A subsidy-free UK solar project in construction (Whitecross 36MW)

· A ready-to-build subsidy-free UK solar project (Hatherden 50MW)

 

The NESF portfolio has a combined installed power capacity of 865MW (excluding NextPower III MW on an equivalent look-through basis).

 

As at 31 December 2021, the Company had a gross asset value of £1,094 million, being the aggregate of the net asset value of the ordinary shares, the fair value of the preference shares and the amount of NESF Group debt outstanding, and a net asset value of £615million.

 

NESF's investment objective is to provide ordinary shareholders with attractive risk-adjusted returns, principally in the form of regular dividends, by investing in a diversified portfolio of solar energy and energy storage infrastructure assets.  The majority of NESF's long-term cash flows are inflation-linked via UK government subsidies.

 

For further information on NESF please visit nextenergysolarfund.com

 

Commitment to ESG

NESF is committed to ESG principles and responsible investment which make a meaningful contribution to reducing CO2 emissions through the generation of clean solar power.  NESF will only select investments that meet the requirements of NEC Group's Sustainable Investment Policy.  Based on this policy, NESF benefits from NEC's rigorous ESG due diligence on each investment.  NESF is committed to reporting on its ESG performance in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals framework and the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation.

 

NESF has been awarded the London Stock Exchange's Green Economy Mark and has been designated a Guernsey Green Fund by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.

 

NESF's sustainability-related disclosures in the financial services sector in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 can be accessed on the ESG section of both the NESF website (nextenergysolarfund.com/esg/) & NEC Group website (nextenergycapital.com/sustainability/transparency-and-reporting/).

 

 

 

About NextEnergy Group

NESF is managed by NextEnergy Capital, part of the NextEnergy Group.  NextEnergy Group was founded in 2007 to become a leading market participant in the international solar sector.  Since its inception, it has been active in the development, construction and ownership of solar assets across jurisdictions.  NextEnergy Group operates via its three business units: NextEnergy Capital (Investment Management), WiseEnergy (Operating Asset Management) and Starlight (Asset Development).

 

NextEnergy Capital

NextEnergy Capital comprises the Group's investment management activities.  To date, NEC has invested in over 325 individual solar plants for a capacity in excess of 2.3GW across it institutional funds. 
www.nextenergycapital.com

 

· NextEnergy Solar Fund ("NESF") is a solar infrastructure investment company focused on the UK and other OECD countries, that is listed on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange.  It currently owns 865MW spread among 99 individual assets in the UK and Italy, comprising a gross asset value of £1,094m.  NESF is one of the largest listed solar energy investment companies in the world.

· NextPower II ("NPII") a private fund made up of 105 individual operating solar power plants and an installed capacity of 149MW, focused on consolidating the substantial, highly fragmented Italian solar market.  NPII was successfully divested in January 2022, a 2016 vintage vehicle that generated net IRRs to its investors in excess of 25%, versus a gross target of 10-12%.

· NextPower III ESG ("NPIII") is a private fund exclusively focused on the international solar infrastructure sector, principally targeting projects in carefully selected OECD countries, including the US, Portugal, Spain, Chile, Poland and Italy.  NPIII ESG is a fund that provides a positive social and environmental impact to the countries it has and will invest into.  NPIII completed its fundraise with a total of $896m, including a SMA raised.  The target of the fund was $750m.

· NextPower UK ESG ("NPUK ESG") is a private unlevered fund investing in greenfield subsidy-free solar projects, with PPA's, in the UK.  NPUK ESG was launched in December 2021.  The UK Infrastructure Bank is providing financing to the initial seed assets of the fund, and plans to invest up to £250m, half of the fund's total target fund size, on a match-funding basis.

 

WiseEnergy

WiseEnergy® is NextEnergy Capital Group's operating asset manager.  WiseEnergy is a leading specialist operating asset manager in the solar sector.  Since its founding, WiseEnergy has provided solar asset management, monitoring and technical due diligence services to over 1,300 utility-scale solar power plants with an installed capacity in excess of 2.2GW.  WiseEnergy clients comprise leading banks and equity financiers in the energy and infrastructure sector. 

www.wise-energy.com

 

Starlight

Starlight is NextEnergy Group's development company that is active in the development phase of solar projects.  It has developed over 100 utility-scale projects internationally and continues to progress a large pipeline of c.2.5GW of both green and brownfield project developments across global geographies.

 

Notes:

1: All financial data is unaudited as at 31 December 2021, being the latest date in respect of which NESF has published financial information

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