Solar shines as UK investment heats up

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Multimillion pound investments in UK solar projects reflect growing focus on renewables as a key source of Britain’s energy.

Canadian investment of £41.9m hits UK solar

A Canadian renewable energy firm has secured a £41.9 million refinancing deal for 10 UK solar farms, closing the refinancing arrangement with German bank BayernLB.

International energy giant Canadian Solar is one of the world’s largest solar power businesses, encompassing both manufacturing and project development at a utility scale. It has delivered over 24GW of capacity across over 100 countries.

Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar, said: “This deal follows on from the successful partnership with BayernLB to finance our first 40.2 MWp portfolio last year. We are excited to continue our partnership with BayernLB as we seek opportunities to expand our solar energy development initiatives across Europe.”

BP to take 43% stake in Lightsource

UK based oil and gas company BP is to invest $200m for a 43% stake in Lightsource, paid over three years. Lightsource, Europe’s largest solar energy developer, will rebrand as ‘Lightsource BP’ in the process.

Lightsource has developed 1.3GW of solar PV capacity to date and manages 2GW of capacity under long term operation and maintenance contracts. With BP involved, the company is to target large scale grid connected solar projects on a worldwide basis and also corporate power purchase agreements with private businesses. Lightsource’s current growth pipeline of around 6GW will also be pursued covering territories such as US, India, Europe and the Middle East.

Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive, said: “BP has been committed to advancing lower-carbon energy for over 20 years and we’re excited to be coming back to solar, but in a new and very different way.

“While our history in the solar industry was centred on manufacturing panels, Lightsource BP will instead grow value through developing and managing major solar projects around the world. I am confident that the combination of Lightsource’s expertise and experience with BP’s relationships and resources will propel this innovative business to even more rapid growth.”

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