Leading UK solar leasing company, A Shade Greener, has inked a substantial new financing deal with a London-based subsidiary of Australia’s Macquarie Group that will give it access to three debt facilities worth a total of £155 million ($A300 million), to help grow its business.
The deal with Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions (MIDIS), a fund established in 2014 to invest in UK inflation-linked infrastructure debt, will allow ASG to recycle capital and boost the roll out of its business model, which has already driven 49,000 “free” solar PV installs for businesses and households.
MIDIS senior vice president Kit Hamilton said the fund – whose purpose was to focus exclusively on investment-grade debt to provide predictable asset cash flows for pension funds – said the UK solar PV sector was an attractive and safe investment option, as it was supported by an established and stable regulatory framework.
“The ASG financings represent excellent assets for our pension fund and insurance investors on whose behalf we are sourcing long-term, stable assets in defensive infrastructure sectors,” Hamilton said.
The deal comes after MIDIS’ separate £21.5 million financing of one of the UK’s largest solar projects in Pembrokeshire, Wales, mandated by the renewable energy infrastructure asset manager, Quercus Assets Selection.
As at March 2015, MIDIS had invested in renewable energy assets with a combined annual output of 270,000 megawatt hours, capable of providing electricity to over 65,000 UK households.
All up, the Macquarie Group has been investing heavily in big- and distributed solar dealings, its analysts having declared the rapid deployment of low-cost solar PV an unstoppable force, in 2013.
In that year alone, under its various guises, Macquarie forged major deals to invest in infrastructure and renewable energy in Japan, to fund zero-cost upfront solar-power installations across Britain, and to join forces with GE, to cater to the growing global demand for infrastructure funding and development. It has also formed a joint venture with UK renewable energy investment company Low Carbon to create a solar farm portfolio of up to 300MW.
In 2014, Macquarie Group entered the solar financing market in Australia, and got itself an Australian electricity retail licence, after revealing plans to establish a local solar leasing business.
In November, it joined with two other investors to take a major stake in the project development business of leading Chinese solar module maker JinkoSolar.