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UK solar fund buys stakes in three Queensland projects

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British investment manager Foresight Group has continued its solar buying spree in Australia, announcing new deals to acquire shares in three Canadian Solar projects in Queensland, with a combined capacity of 117 MW.

Conducted through the Foresight Solar Fund Limited, the deals give FSFL 49 per cent shares in the 17MW Longreach Solar Farm and the 30MW Oakey 1 Solar Farm, and a 100 per cent interest in the 70MW Oakey 2 Solar Farm.

The acquisitions follow last month’s buy-up of the 110MW Bannerton Solar Project in Victoria, near Robinvale, and take the Fund’s total portfolio to a net capacity of 622MW, once the Queensland projects are installed.

Alongside its original Australian investment in the 25MW Barcaldine Regional Community Solar Farm, which started feeding power to the Queensland grid in December 2016, Foresight’s Australian solar portfolio now totals 252MW across five sites.

Like the Bannerton solar farm in Victoria – which is being built as part of the state government tender to power the Melbourne tram network with renewables – two of the Queensland solar farms, Oakey 1 and Longreach, have 20-year off take agreements with the government in that state.

Oakey 1 and Longreach are under construction and are expected to be connected to the grid in March and September 2018 respectively.

The Oakey 2 solar farm is expected to connect to the Queensland grid in October 2018 and will sell its power and large-scale generation certificates under the federal Renewable Energy Target regulatory framework.

Foresight, which has previously described the Australian solar market as “fast developing and attractive,” said the new acquisitions supported FSFL’s international growth strategy, and expand its portfolio to 23 assets.

“This is the third Australian transaction for Foresight in 2017 following the acquisitions of Bannerton and Barcaldine,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.

“The transaction is further evidence of the success Foresight has had leveraging the extensive solar experience and track record of Foresight’s global Infrastructure team.”  

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  • Daniel Boon

    it’s interesting that the Chinese are reducing their exposure

    • Tom

      They just want to sell panels