The Latest Sustainable Energy News from Low Carbon

Low Carbon raises £106m in UK solar refinancing deal

LONDON, May 27, 2015 – Low Carbon, the leading renewable energy investor, is pleased to announce the completion of its £106 million refinancing deal with Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions (MIDIS) for part of its existing portfolio of operational UK solar parks.

The refinancing deal includes a combination of RPI-linked and fixed-rate debt. The deal enables Low Carbon to continue its momentum in driving scale in the development of clean, renewable energy.

With a strong track record in funding and managing solar assets, Low Carbon has developed one of the largest portfolios of solar parks across the UK, with over 270MW funded and in operation today. The twelve solar parks refinanced in this deal were developed and constructed under the stewardship of Low Carbon and have been in operation for at least one year. Operated under the UK’s Feed-in Tariff (FiT) and Renewables Obligation (RO) subsidy regimes by Low Carbon, the solar parks generate a total of 99.2MW in renewable energy – enough to power approximately 29,800 homes and save more than 47,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Juan Martin Alfonso, Chief Financial Officer, Low Carbon said: “We are delighted to announce this multi-asset refinancing deal. This transaction ensures the alignment of long term institutional funding to our operational assets capital structure, taking scale with flexible portfolio terms, and further capital to finance future projects into account. The deal will allow us to support our ambition to strengthen the UK’s supply of renewable energy.”

Roy Bedlow, Chief Executive and Co-Founder, Low Carbon added: “Appetite for renewable energy investments is continuing to grow, as investors seek sustainable options which still deliver high returns. The scale of this deal underlines the growing trend towards more sustainable investments which we are seeing in the market today.”

 

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About Low Carbon

Low Carbon is a privately owned investment company committed to the development and operation of renewable energy power production. Low Carbon invests into both renewable energy developers and projects across a range of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, anaerobic digestion and concentrated solar power. Low Carbon has a strong management team with a proven track record in the development, construction, financing and management of renewable energy assets. For UK solar alone, Low Carbon has funded and is operating more than 270MW. Low Carbon remains involved in the projects for the long term with a dedicated asset management team that currently manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).

Low Carbon’s solar parks to power 25,300 UK homes

Low Carbon announces five newly commissioned solar sites, producing 84.3MW

Renewable energy investment company, Low Carbon, today announces the addition of five newly commissioned sites to its solar portfolio. These new sites will save in excess of 36,000 tonnes of CO2 per year and power more than 25,300 UK homes.

The solar parks being announced by Low Carbon are:

  • Berwick, East Sussex: 8.2 MW
  • Bottom Plain, Dorset: 10.1MW
  • Branston, Lincolnshire:18.9MW
  • Emberton, Buckinghamshire: 9.0MW
  • Great Wilbraham, Cambridgeshire: 38.1MW – Low Carbon’s largest solar park to date

In the past year, Low Carbon has commissioned twelve solar parks totalling 157.7MW and saving in excess of 67,600 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of 21,400 fewer cars on the road each year.[1] Additionally, these sites generate sufficient renewable energy to power up to 47,478 homes.

Commenting on the new sites, Steve Hunter Head of Investments at Low Carbon said, “This strong portfolio of newly commissioned sites allows us not only to deliver long-term growth, but is an example of our continued fight against the causes of climate change. By generating enough renewable energy to power more than 47,000 homes, we play a part in decarbonising, diversifying and securing the long-term energy supply of the UK. We look forward to expanding our portfolio even further to deliver renewable energy to more homes across the country.”

Hunter added: “All these sites have been developed and constructed under the stewardship of Low Carbon demonstrating our strong track record as a leading UK solar investor. Solar is a credible, proven technology with a stable generation profile and we remain committed to the UK renewable energy industry”.

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Notes to Editors

About Low Carbon

Low Carbon is a privately owned investment company, committed to the development and operation of renewable energy power production.  Low Carbon invests into both renewable energy developers and projects across a range of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, anaerobic digestion and concentrated solar power. Low Carbon has a strong management team with a proven track record in the development, construction, financing and management of UK solar assets, with over 270MW funded and in operation today.  Low Carbon remains involved in the projects for the long term.  Low Carbon has a dedicated asset management team that currently manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).

www.lowcarbon.com

 

[1] Based on average petrol engine cars travelling an average mileage of 10,168 (RAC 2014) miles per year and DEFRA carbon conversion factors

Low Carbon partners with Ben Ainslie Racing to power team HQ

BAR HQ will provide a showcase for clean energy

Low Carbon partnership will power team’s HQ during bid to bring America’s Cup to Britain

Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) is leading the sporting world in sustainability, in its bid to bring the 35th America’s Cup to the UK.

The sailing team, formed by Olympic multi-gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie, is announcing a long-term partnership with renewables investor Low Carbon. The partnership will provide the team with clean energy as it develops its 2017 bid for the world’s oldest international sporting trophy.

Low Carbon will ensure the team’s headquarters – currently under construction on the Camber in Portsmouth – is powered by the very latest, high efficiency solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. The initial target is to supply 90% of the team’s electricity power needs, with this improving to 100% once energy monitoring is implemented.

Low Carbon is committed to mitigating climate change by encouraging, wherever possible, the reduction of carbon emissions.  Investing capital into renewable energy, the firm’s investment model embraces solar PV, concentrated solar power, wind and bio-waste technologies. Within less than four years, Low Carbon has developed more than 270MW of UK solar power. A broader international portfolio exceeding 2GW is in the pipeline.

The partnership will greatly support BAR’s efforts to run a sustainable business with clean energy. It will also see the team’s HQ accorded BREEAM ‘Excellent’ status – the hallmark of excellence in sustainable building. The BAR HQ is expected to be completed in the summer of 2015.

Commenting on the partnership, Low Carbon’s Chief Executive Roy Bedlow said: “I’m very excited by this long-term partnership, and with the prospect of making a key contribution to a true British success story. With Low Carbon and BAR sharing an ethos of sustainability, responsibility and mitigating the effects of climate change, I believe that together we can continue to make a difference for the better, long into the future.”

BAR’s Team Principal, the four-time Olympic medallist and America’s Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie commented, “We’re delighted to be on board with Low Carbon, and this new partnership takes us a long way towards our goal of sustainable, clean energy for our new base.”

Bedlow adds: “This project has exciting implications for renewable energy. Because the BAR philosophy is about educating and engaging locally, the project will be a fantastic showcase for how large buildings can be almost entirely sustainable.”

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Business, Enterprise and Energy, said “This is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate that Britain is not only a sporting world leader but also a leader in innovative technology. Britain is at the cutting edge of solar power, which not only benefits the environment but has the potential to create jobs and secure energy supplies. Sir Ben Ainslie’s project truly builds on Portsmouth and Britain’s global reputation as a centre of technology, sports, marine and maritime excellence.”

In a separate initiative, Roy Bedlow is joining the board of the team’s charity as a Trustee. Launched in October 2014, the 1851 Trust seeks to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and the marine industry, providing young people with the education, skills and training required to become innovators of the future, and stewards of the marine environment.

 

Notes to Editors

About Ben Ainslie Racing

Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) was launched on June 10th 2014 in the presence of the Duchess of Cambridge. The team was conceived by four times Olympic gold medalist and 34th America’s Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie, with the long-term aim of challenging for Britain and bringing the America’s Cup back home to where it all began in 1851. Ben will develop and lead a British entry capable of winning the prestigious trophy, something Britain has so far never managed to achieve.

BAR is a commercial sporting team, with a number of individual private investors alongside corporate partners. The team is made up of some of the best British and international sailors, designers, builders and racing support.

land-rover-bar.americascup.com/

 

About Low Carbon

Low Carbon is a privately owned investment company, committed to the development and operation of renewable energy power production.  Low Carbon invests into both renewable energy developers and projects across a range of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, anaerobic digestion and concentrated solar power.

Low Carbon has a strong management team with a proven track record in the development, construction, financing and management of UK solar assets, with over 270MW funded and in construction and operation today.  Low Carbon remains involved in the projects for the long term.  Low Carbon has a dedicated asset management team that currently manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).

http://www.lowcarbon.com/

 

About Roy Bedlow

Roy Bedlow is Low Carbon’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive. He is a founder member of the Carbon War Room: an international NGO and thought leader tasked with creating market-based solutions to climate change. Roy also sits on the Board of Andromeda Capital, a private equity firm investing in climate change and education, and the Board of Sparx, which is developing new technology to revolutionize learning.

 

Low Carbon and Nur Energie support energy security with TuNur large scale solar project

TuNur project will provide clean energy to more than 2.5 million homes, creating double the energy of UK’s nuclear energy output

Renewable energy investment company, Low Carbon and utility scale solar developer Nur Energie, are partnering in the development of their TuNur project. TuNur is a flagship 2GW solar export project in the Tunisian Sahara which will be connected to the European electricity grid via a dedicated cable.

The project will produce almost twice as much energy as any of the UK’s current nuclear power plants and can even produce power when the sun is down.

The project is currently undergoing permitting in Tunisia and Europe, and is set to reach financial close and start construction in 2016. When the project comes online in by late 2018 it will provide clean and reliable power to more than 2.5 million UK homes.

Today’s announcement of the commitment from Low Carbon and Nur to take the TuNur project forward to the next stage follows the significant milestones achieved over the course of the project’s development which have provided confidence in its success. The majority of the project’s feasibility and preliminary licencing has now been completed including an offer of a 2GW grid connection solution (“STMG”) from Terna, the Italian grid operator, for an interconnection point in Italy. The project is now entering into the next stage of permitting and development, putting it on track to start construction by the end of 2016.

Energy security is currently a key concern for European countries, following disruptions to energy supplies due to the unsettled situation in the Ukraine and the Middle-East. European authorities have called for member states to take active steps to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels, potentially by investing in renewable technologies. Furthermore, as global demand for renewable energy rises, it is becoming increasingly important that renewable energy projects are built to a scale that has a significant impact on the decarbonisation of electricity grids.

Africa presents many new exciting investment opportunities for the renewable energy industry, with its abundance of solar and wind resources. According to the European Commission’s Institute for Energy, 0.3 % of the sunlight that shines on the Sahara and Middle Eastern deserts could supply all of Europe’s energy needs. Investing in such regions is crucial for diversifying our energy supplies for the future.

Roy Bedlow, chief executive officer at Low Carbon said: “With the right level of investment, large scale renewable projects such as TuNur can be very competitive in the energy market and demonstrates that renewables make business sense. By harnessing the power of the sun, we can challenge other means of energy generation such as nuclear power or burning fossil fuels, which have multiple, long-term negative effects. Large scale solar projects, in Europe and Africa are a vital part of diversifying and securing Europe’s energy supply, while creating a low carbon economy.”

Kevin Sara, chief executive officer of Nur Energie commented: “Nur Energie has been focused on utility scale climate change mitigation by opening new energy doors. The TuNur project with the recent investment by Low Carbon, will help drive this strategy and together we will be a force in striving to secure and decarbonise Europe at an affordable price”.

He added: “Recent news around Desertec (Dii) has raised some questions about the concept of North African solar. CSP is a proven technology and the Sahara is an area of optimum solar resource, as demonstrated by our three year study showing direct normal irradiance (“DNI”) of 2,500kWh/m2/Yr.  Successful Government programmes such as MASEN in Morocco prove that developing solar in the Sahara is a cost effective source of renewable energy today. This coupled with the growing energy demand and need for low carbon and non-intermittent power in Europe makes North Africa an optimum region for large scale solar development. Governments, investors and developers – including many of those involved in Dii – remain enthusiastic about the validity of this solution. The TuNur project, which has no relation to Dii, is being developed with a clear strategy and has the backing of investors who are fully behind the project.”

Low Carbon recently increased its stake in Nur Energie to become one of the company’s largest shareholders.

Low Carbon invests in renewable energy companies and projects embracing innovations such as solar photovoltaic, concentrated solar power, wind and anaerobic digestion technologies. So far, through its investments, the company has funded, is building and/or operating sustainable initiatives with a renewable energy capacity of more than 350MW.

 

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About Low Carbon

Low Carbon is a privately owned investment company, committed to the development and operation of renewable energy power production.  Low Carbon invests into both renewable energy developers and projects across a range of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, anaerobic digestion and concentrated solar power.  The company has a strong management team with a proven track record in the development, construction, financing and management of more than 350MW of UK renewable energy assets.  Low Carbon also has a dedicated asset management team that currently manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).

About Nur Energie

Nur Energie is an independent solar power plant developer focused on significant climate change mitigation by opening new energy corridors. Nur is developing utility scale concentrated solar power (“CSP”) and photovoltaic (“PV”) projects in Southern Europe and North Africa that are capable of producing low carbon, base load power at competitive prices, all whilst generating significant socio economic benefits within the regions it develops in. Nur currently has over 2,200MW of under development in Greece, Morocco, Tunisia and France.

Lackford Estate Solar Park wins at Solar Power Portal Awards 2014

Low Carbon’s Lackford Estate Solar Park achieved industry recognition by winning the Solar Power Portal Award for best utility scale solar farm >10MW. The award recognises the solar farm whose commercial viability, yield and ROI is matched by its commitment to sustainable development. Lackford Estate Solar Park demonstrated excellence in site selection, minimal visual impact, system design, on-site generation and yield, community engagement, biodiversity and overall project management.

Sited on 87 acres of Suffolk farmland and invisible from nearby roads thanks to woodland boundaries, Lackford Estate is a solar PV development producing 20,168 MWh and annually powering 6,112 homes. The low-lying site runs beside an SSSI; during construction, care was taken to ensure protection of flora and fauna, and adjacent land will continue to be managed in favour of nesting stone curlews. With the location’s layout considered favourable for the development, excellent project management meant a trouble-free delivery; despite severe weather and tight timelines, the site was commissioned on 29 March 2014, just one year after initial discussions.

Lackford Estate Solar Park was developed by Inazin and the EPC on the project was Goldbeck Solar GmbH. All equipment used on the site conforms to the relevant quality standards with panels supplied by REC and inverters by SMA.

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