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TerraForm Power to sell 365MW of UK solar projects to Vortex

EBR Staff Writer Published 09 January 2017

TerraForm Power has agreed to sell 365MW of operational solar plants in the UK to Vortex, a renewable energy platform managed by EFG Hermes' private equity arm, in a deal worth £470m ($582m).

As part of the deal, Vortex will acquire 24 operating solar projects in the UK. The portfolio, which was assembled by TerraForm Power in 2014 and 2015, is said to be one of the largest portfolios of solar projects in the country.

The deal is part of TerraForm’s effort to optimize its fleet and position itself for future growth. Proceeds from the sale will be used by the company to reduce debt and enhance its liquidity position.

Upon completion of the deal, the TerraForm expects to reduce non-recourse project debt on its balance sheet by about $370m.

TerraForm Power chairman and interim CEO Peter Blackmore said: "The TerraForm Power Board and management team continues to execute on our key strategic initiatives, including fleet optimization and deleveraging, and this transaction demonstrates our progress in positioning the Company for value creation.

"Given the strong demand for operational United Kingdom solar plants, we are pleased to capitalize on the opportunity to monetize the high-quality portfolio of solar plants that our team has assembled and strengthened over the last two years and generate significant value for our shareholders."

After completion, the company expects to reduce non-recourse project debt on its balance sheet by about $370m.

EFG Hermes Private Equity head Karim Moussa said: "The UK is a key contributor to Europe's solar market. This Portfolio offers us an attractive entry point with a long-term investment proposition in the country.”

Scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2017, the transaction is subject to certain precedent conditions.

After the deal's completion, TerraForm will continue to own an 11MW operating plant.

Vortex plans to refinance the existing non-recourse project debt facility with a new upsized facility.

The company will sign new contracts with Lightsource Renewable Energy for operations and maintenance, and management services.


Image: TerraForm intends to optimize its fleet with the sale of solar projects. Photo: courtesy of Naypong/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.