DIF Capital Partners signs acquisition of largest UK co-location solar and battery portfolio from Cero Generation and Enso Energy

24 February 2023

DIF Capital Partners is pleased to announce that, together with ib vogt, it has signed the acquisition of a 100% interest in a greenfield portfolio of ready-to-build co-located solar and battery projects from Enso Green Holdings Limited (EGHL). This is a joint venture between Cero Generation and Enso Energy. DIF’s investment is being done through its DIF Infrastructure VII fund, which will acquire a 90% interest.

The UK-based portfolio has been developed by EGHL and is understood to be the largest co-location portfolio of solar and (battery) storage in the UK, consisting of seven sites with a total capacity of 720MW (380MW of solar and 340MW of battery storage). Solar EPC and O&M services will be provided by ib vogt.

The acquisition of each project will be completed once each site reaches the ready-to-build stage. The first two projects have already been acquired and have started construction; the expectation is that all projects are acquired by mid-2023 and that they are operational between 2024 and 2026. All individual sites are expected to benefit from CfD contracts or PPAs with corporate or utility offtakers.

DIF and ib vogt are currently in the process of raising a non-recourse debt financing facility to fund the construction of the portfolio.

Gijs Voskuyl, partner and Head of Infrastructure at DIF Capital Partners, said: “This transaction perfectly fits in DIF’s build to core strategy and will make a significant contribution to the UK’s efforts to achieve net zero by 2050. It represents DIF’s first direct investment into the asset class of utility scale energy storage, which is an essential component of future electricity markets. DIF is continuing to work closely with Enso Energy and Cero Generation to bring the remaining assets in the portfolio to ready-to-build stage and is excited to make this investment in a partnership with ib vogt”.

Commenting on the transaction, Marta Martínez Queimadelos, CEO of Cero Generation, said: “We are delighted that DIF and ib vogt will be taking forward this sizeable portfolio into the next phase of its lifecycle. They will be continuing our work with Enso Energy following the development of the projects from conception through planning, and successfully to ready-to-build. This portfolio will make a significant contribution to the UK’s efforts to achieve net zero by 2050, with the co-location of solar and battery storage playing a key role in the de-carbonisation of the grid. We will continue to develop and deliver the UK solar and battery projects in the joint venture’s existing pipeline, which extends to 5GW, and a further 5GW of early-stage opportunities.”

Andrew King, Managing Director of Enso, commented: “The sale of these ready-to-build assets is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the Enso and Cero teams, and we look forward to seeing the DIF/ib vogt team take them forward to construction and operation. This transaction provides further evidence that co-located solar and battery storage projects connecting directly to the transmission network are attractive to funders and investors and will play an important role in the delivery of the UK’s net zero plans”.

DIF was advised by Elgar Middleton, Lazard and CMS. EGHL was supported by PKF and TLT through the transaction.

Source: DIF
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