Gresham House, the specialist alternative asset manager with £7.31bn in assets under management, has secured a fourth solar farm from renewable energy developer Anesco. The acquisition of the 20MW solar farm, known as Beavor Grange is part of a three-year development, build and construction partnership signed in January 2021 worth over £100 million.
Beavor Grange Solar Farm, located near Axminster in Devon, is the fourth site to change hands in a 200MW ground-based solar partnership between the two companies.
The Beavor Grange transaction follows the acquisition of the 20MW solar farms located in Cirencester in Gloucestershire and Alfreton in Derbyshire, earlier this year as well as 50MW Low Farm in Lincolnshire last August. They are also building two battery storage facilities with a combined capacity of 100MW for two investors.
The transaction has been heralded as Anesco’s largest yet, with Gresham House financing the assets and Anesco providing all the engineering, procurement, and construction services.
Sarah Webb, business development director at Anesco said:
“Through our partnership with Gresham House, we are delighted to be supporting the UK’s transition to cleaner, greener energy. Beavor Grange is the fourth large-scale solar project we have progressed to the investment-ready stage for Gresham House, and we will be continuing to add to that total very soon.”
Beavor Grange Solar Farm will cover an area of just under 28 hectares when completed. According to Gresham House it will be able to generate enough clean energy to power around 5,000 homes while helping to save approximately 4,500 tonnes of carbon emissions each year. The site will have a lifespan of 40 years, after which time it will be returned to its natural state.
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Work on the facility is due to begin in early 2023 and is expected to take around 34 weeks to complete. Once the site is up and running the solar farm will be monitored by Anesco’s operations and maintenance team to ensure it continues to operate at optimal efficiency.
Each solar site in Anesco’s 600MW pipeline new solar and storage projects that are at the planning and ready to build stage benefit from an advanced biodiversity management plan and significant ecological enhancements designed to support some of the UK’s most at-risk birds and wildlife.
Other sites such as High Meadow in Stockton-on-Tees aims to achieve a 173% biodiversity net gain whereas Moat Farm in Aylesbury is anticipated to achieve 216%. Beavor Grange will be developed in accordance with the biodiversity plan.
The biodiversity net gains will be attained through the planting of hedgerows, wildflower meadows and the introduction of other measures designed to create habitats for local wildlife and at-risk bird species.
Wayne Cranston, Gresham House’s chief investment officer:
“The site has been carefully designed with a focus on increasing biodiversity, as well as ensuring quality construction and efficient operation. We continue to support solar new build to increase the UK’s commitment to renewable energy self-sufficiency, so we were particularly pleased to win three contracts for difference across three solar farms as part of this partnership at the recent government CFD auction. round, AR4”.
Anesco is a market leader in renewable energy, managing the development, design, construction, maintenance and market optimisation of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The company has constructed more than one hundred solar farms, while its operations and management service is monitoring more than 24,000 sites.
Gresham House focuses on sustainable, transformative technologies that they believe can offer the potential for strong financial returns at the same time as supporting the transition to a more sustainable world. This includes investing in battery energy storage, ground, and roof-mounted solar and onshore wind. Their investments support the move to decarbonise electricity and to ‘electrify’ public infrastructure.