Copenhagen sells 35% stake in Beatrice wind farm

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) is selling its 35% stake in the Beatrice offshore wind farm off the Caithness coast to The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG) and funds managed by Equitix Investment Management Limited.

TRIG, the £2.4 billion fund, said it exchanged contracts to acquire an equity interest of 17.5% in Beatrice from CIP.

Analysts estimated the acquisition of 17.5% will have cost TRIG between £280 million and £300 million.

According to TRIG, funds managed by Equitix Investment Management Limited are acquiring the remaining 17.5% of CIP’s stake in Beatrice.

TRIG said its co-shareholders in Beatrice will be Perth-based SSE plc with 40%, Red Rock Power Limited with 25%, and funds managed by Equitix with 17.5%.

“Beatrice is a 588MW offshore wind farm developed by SSE plc using Siemens turbines, has an established track record since operations commenced in 2018 and benefits from a Contract-for-Difference (CfD) subsidy,” said TRIG.

“Following completion of the transaction, Beatrice will represent approximately 12% of TRIG’s investment portfolio.

“The wind farm is located approximately 13km off the north east coast of Scotland and comprises 84 Siemens 7MW turbines which utilise direct drive technology.

“The project has a 15-year maintenance agreement in place with Siemens.

“The project’s CfD subsidy fixes the price received for all power generated until 2034, with indexation to inflation.

“Debt financing on the project is fixed rate and fully amortising within the subsidy period.

“The investment, which is subject to regulatory and lender consents which are expected to be received in the coming weeks, will be financed from a drawdown of the group’s recently renewed revolving credit facility. 

“TRIG’s co-shareholders will be SSE plc (40%), funds managed by Equitix Investment Management Limited (who are also acquiring a 17.5% stake from CIP and is partnered with TRIG on the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm), and Red Rock Power Limited (25%). 

“As has recently been highlighted by the UK Government, offshore wind projects have a significant role to play in the decarbonisation of the UK economy.

“As well as ongoing economic benefit through the provision of local jobs (with up to 90 roles at the operational base for the Project in Wick, Scotland), the project provides enough clean energy to power the equivalent of more than 450,000 homes.”

Richard Crawford of InfraRed Capital Partners, TRIG’s fund manager, said: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to invest in this high-quality project developed by SSE, who are a leading generator of renewable electricity in the UK.

“As investment manager, InfraRed seeks attractive opportunities for TRIG that increase the robustness of the portfolio, helping to deliver sustainable returns to shareholders from a diversified portfolio of renewables infrastructure.

“This major acquisition represents a continuation of this investment strategy and will be the company’s third investment in a UK offshore wind farm and its 5th in the offshore wind sector.”