Foresight Solar Fund has raised more than £48 million through a share placing to help fund the acquisition of 18 operational solar assets in the UK.

The portfolio of solar assets is valued at approximately £55 million and has a total installed capacity of 134.2MW. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of July.

Completion of the deal would bring the company’s solar portfolio to a total of 808MW of peak capacity across 46 projects, of which 131MW are under construction.

As part of the placing of 44,995,209 new shares, asset manager BlackRock has subscribed to 22 million shares for a total consideration of £23.54 million.

The admission of the new shares means there is a total of 494,947,300 ordinary shares in issue.

Foresight’s chairman, Alexander Ohlsson, said: “We are pleased to announce a successful and oversubscribed equity capital raise, which will support the acquisition of this key, NAV accretive transaction.

“Through the anticipated acquisition of 18 operational assets in the UK, Foresight Solar Fund Limited will become the largest UK-listed dedicated solar energy investment company by installed capacity, further diversifying our asset portfolio and underpinning our long-term dividend policy.”

Solar Trade Association (STA) chief executive Chris Hewett, added: “We are seeing more interest in solar assets from existing renewable funds, such as Foresight, and institutional investors more generally. This demonstrates that the investment community has a greater understanding of the level and consistency of returns that solar power in the UK can provide, ultimately increasing their confidence in the technology which will make the cost of capital for future projects fall in the long term.

“The fact that long-term investors are now becoming the main owners of solar assets is also ensuring these sites are maintained to high standards, as set out in the STA’s new Solar Farm Land Management Charter, published last week.”