Lightsource Renewable Energy, Europe’s leading solar energy company, has partnered Vortex, a European renewable energy platform managed by EFG Hermes Private Equity arm, on the acquisition of one of the UK’s largest solar PV portfolios.
Lightsource will provide long-term Operations & Maintenance and Asset Management services to Vortex which has entered into a sale and purchase agreement to acquire the 365MW operational solar PV portfolio owned by TerraForm Power.
The portfolio comprises of 24 operational assets and is valued at an Enterprise Value of around £470 million. The portfolio, with and an average asset age of two years, is expected to generate revenues of c. £40million in 2017 with an EBITDA margin of c. 80%.
A key area of growth for the Lightsource is in leveraging its in-house capabilities to offer comprehensive Operations & Maintenance and Asset Management services to third party clients. Since its inception in 2010, Lightsource has managed more than 180 utility scale assets across England and Wales. Offering clients a single custodian for their assets, Lightsource provides a fully comprehensive in-house service covering all aspects of Operations & Maintenance and Asset Management– including site monitoring and optimisation; reporting; finance management and loan compliance; contracts management.
EFG Hermes Head of Private Equity, Karim Moussa, said: “We chose to partner with Lightsource because of their unparalleled experience in managing significant PV solar portfolios with a variety of equipment types. Lightsource’s clear track record of onboarding, managing and enhancing the performance of assets under their stewardship made them the clear choice to manage this portfolio.”
Adele Ara, Director of Asset Management at Lightsource, said: “We are delighted with EFG Hermes’ choice to appoint Lightsource as trusted asset manager for their UK solar PV portfolio. This partnership highlights our in-house team’s dedication to operational excellence in managing and optimising renewable energy assets and our multidisciplinary operating model. Our presence here in the UK gives us the perfect foundation for managing UK-based renewable assets. We believe that maintaining a strong sense of accountability coupled with a cross-functional structure are the basis of a successful asset management service.
“We have attracted a talented, highly skilled and motivated Asset Management team where technical management capabilities are complemented by strong financial and commercial skills, covering the full suite of AM responsibilities – including managing landowner relationships, contractual compliance, monitoring government regulations, grid systems, power sales and renewable benefits, performance analysis, as well as loan compliance and financial control. We have also invested considerable resources into specialist in-house expertise to tackle issues in additional areas such as planning, performance, insurance and PPAs.”
Mark Turner, Managing Director at Lightsource Services (Lightsource’s O&M business), said: “Being chosen to partner EFG Hermes is testament to the breadth of skills and capabilities that Lightsource has developed in Operations and Maintenance. A portfolio of this size requires a capability that delivers services that are tailored to the specific requirements of each plant and are executed with demonstrably consistent high quality across all sites. The efficient and effective infrastructure we have built means that we directly monitor and control every activity that takes place on each site, from regular grass cutting and panel cleaning, monitoring, communications, LV & HV systems, health & safety to completely overhauling and reconstructing sections of the plants to enhance performance. Our 75-strong regionally-based field service team deliver predictive, preventative and rapid response corrective maintenance to over 1.7GW of operational assets across the UK– including this latest addition to its portfolio.”
Nick Boyle, CEO at Lightsource, said: “We’re delighted to have partnered EFG Hermes to secure this deal. We’ve built our business around an incredibly talented and dedicated in-house team which has enabled us to grow rapidly to become one of the world’s largest solar developers. We’re very proud of the knowledge and expertise we have developed over the last five years and our in-house capabilities allow us to provide a gold-standard Asset Management and Operations and Maintenance service to third party clients and thus help secure such quality business. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with EFG Hermes.”