NTR fund acquires nine solar energy sites in UK

1 Nov 2018

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Irish fund invests in onshore wind and solar assets across Europe.

Dublin-headquartered NTR plc has acquired nine operational solar energy sites in the UK totalling 38.4MW in a deal worth £54.6m (€61.3m).

The deal to acquire the assets from developer Plus Renewables include a deferred consideration of £2.3m (€2.6m) depending on certain conditions being met.

NTR, formerly known as National Toll Roads, has diversified into the energy business and has constructed and operated 1.8GW of wind projects and 630MW of solar projects across the the US, the UK and Ireland.

The company applies its knowhow on behalf of investment partners, with a particular focus on wind and solar projects.

Its first fund, NTR Wind 1 LP, was launched in 2015 to invest in pre-construction onshore wind projects in Ireland and the UK, and is fully invested. The latest transaction was made under NTR Renewable Energy Income Fund II.

You have to speculate to accumulate

“Our strategy for the NTR Renewable Energy Income Fund II is to acquire both pre-construction and operational European onshore wind and solar assets, with the operational assets providing immediate yield on investment while the pre-construction assets are being built out,” explained Rosheen McGuckian, CEO of NTR.

“We are very pleased with this, our first acquisition for the fund, which consists of a well-diversified portfolio of attractive cash-yielding solar assets, providing long-term contracted revenues for our investors from the get-go.”

Reports suggest that investors in NTR’s earlier renewables projects are in for a potential windfall. A portfolio of renewable energy assets called Atlas Investments – put together by NTR and US firm BlackRock, one of the world’s biggest asset managers – has been put up for sale. No doubt NTR is speculating on the solar assets acquired from Plus Renewables yielding a similar windfall in time.

“Our nine assets in the UK have either an attractive feed-in-tariff term of 20 years or are eligible for 1.3 ROCs (renewable obligation certificates), providing long-term price certainty to NTR,” said Paul Cheng, CEO of Plus Renewables.

“These assets were developed in 2015 and 2016, after rigorous due diligence to ensure that they would be built on high-priority sites with strong load fundamentals and efficient grid structures.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years