PRIVATE equity group Greencoat has completed its largest single investment in UK wind energy with the £85 million acquisition of Stroupster in Caithness.
The group’s Greencoat UK Wind (UKW) fund is buying the 29.9-megawatt development from Germany’s BayWa, giving it a total of six wind farms north of the Border. Its last acquisition in Scotland was last year’s £43.3m deal for Kildrummy in Aberdeenshire.
Commissioned in October, Stroupster was developed by Npower Renewables and built by BayWa. It becomes the fourth wind farm sold by BayWa to UKW, which has a portfolio of 16 onshore and one offshore development.
Stephen Lilley, partner at Greencoat, said the deal is expected to complete on 1 December. An adjustment mechanism will assess actual energy production at Stroupster over a two-year period, with the purchase price adjusted accordingly.
The unit will receive a fixed price for the electricity it generates from the UK’s renewables obligation programme. The government said in June that it will begin cutting subsidies for onshore wind from next year, but this will only impact new projects, rather than those already in operation.
UKW buys recently-commissioned wind farms, rather than developing them, and won’t be immediately impacted by the reduction in government support.
The deal is being funded through debt provided by Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Scotland and Banco Santander. UKW currently has capacity for a further £200m of acquisitions, and is actively eyeing up targets.