Renewable energy firm Raggnar Power is to establish an investment vehicle aimed at the biomass market, with plans to pump £8 million into the sector in the next year-and-a-half.
Aberdeenshire-based Raggnar was set up two years ago by entrepreneur Nigel Perkins and rapidly established hubs across the UK for its core biomass installation and maintenance business. Now it plans to raise cash in equity and debt to build and operate a portfolio of up to 80 commercial biomass heating plants in the UK over the next 18 months.
The model will see the firm install its technology at no charge on customers’ premises, with the new Raggnar AssetCo sharing in the rewards made through savings on bills and government subsidies.
Perkins said: “Many businesses and public entities with significant heating requirements see the cost and environmental benefits of localised biomass heating systems, but capital spend required to fund the installation up front creates an understandable barrier.
“Getting the right finance in place is vital to help more organisations become self-sufficient on green energy, help address issues such as fuel poverty and create an asset that will deliver financial and environmental returns for decades.”
Raggnar said it has a pipeline of existing opportunities, with factories, business parks, farms, hotels, schools, colleges and country estates that could achieve significant financial and environmental savings from biomass.
The company is seeking to partner with third party investors to build Raggnar AssetCo into a separate business which will aim for a stable and index-linked return based on the UK government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. Once established, Raggnar and its investing partners will look at a variety of potential exit options, including a portfolio sale to yield-hungry investment funds.
Raggnar has appointed Andrew McLennan to head the investment initiative. He is a corporate financier with more than 20 years of experience in renewables, “cleantech” and wider technology sectors.
McLennan said: “Commercial biomass systems occupy a compelling ‘sweet spot’ for customers and investors. With government incentives guaranteed for at least the next 20 years, there are attractive returns available at relatively low risk.
“Raggnar’s technology, approach and experience installing and maintaining these systems mean the returns will continue to stack up well beyond then.”
Perkins has further plans to create a wider Raggnar Group, and is raising money to build a wind turbine factory in Scotland, using a “game changing” secret design which he believes can revolutionise the industry.
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