EDF retains minority interest in portfolio, which it will continue to run as before

Greencoat UK Wind has bought an 80 per cent stake in five onshore wind farms for a total of £98 million.

The seller, EDF Energy Renewables, will retain a 20 per cent interest in the portfolio.

The wind farms, spread across Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire, feature 47 turbines with a combined capacity of more than 96MW.

The EDF Group will continue to run the sites – with operation, maintenance and management provided by its business services division EDF ENS UK – as well as buy all power and Renewables Obligation Certificates generated by the wind farms.

All other operational aspects, including the community benefit fund arrangements associated with each wind farm, will also remain unchanged.

“We have built close ties with the communities around these sites and we know they value industry partners they can work with over the long term,” said EDF Energy Renewables chief executive Matthieu Hue.

“That’s why it is important to us to continue to run the wind farms and maintain local relationships. Our commitment to areas around these sites remains and community funds stay exactly the same as before.”

Hue welcomed the opportunity to work with Greencoat and said the deal would enable EDF to invest in more renewable projects in the UK, in line with the group’s strategy.

“We have an ambitious development portfolio, which will help us deliver the low carbon electricity the country needs,” he added. “This sale helps to support our ambitions and our delivery of new projects around the UK.”

The wind farms included in the transaction are:

• Deeping St. Nicholas (16.4MW)
• Red House (12.3 MW)
• Glass Moor (16.4 MW)
• Red Tile (24.6MW)
• Bicker Fen (26.7MW)

They were commissioned between 2006 and 2008 and are all located within 25 miles of Peterborough.

Having acquired stakes in three other onshore wind farms over August, Greencoat is now invested in a total of 29 wind farms with a combined generating capacity off 694MW.

Several weeks ago, the fund revealed it had raised £340 million from first phase of its latest share issuance programme, announced a month before in September. More than 290 million shares were issued out of a planned total of up to 500 million for the full programme.

Greencoat UK Wind (UKW) chairman Tim Ingram said:  “Following on from our recent further share issue, we are pleased to acquire assets from a tenth seller – a third major utility partnership – demonstrating UKW’s reach across the market in finding value for investors.”

The fund’s debts currently stand at £265 million – the equivalent of 19 per cent of the gross value of its assets. It has set itself a gearing limit of 40 per cent.

Speaking to Utility Week in September, Greencoat partner Stephen Lilley said, with capacity set to rise substantially, he expects there to be more offshore wind assets “coming down the track” in future.

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