- By Region
Aviva, the FTSE 100 insurer, has paid an estimated £100m for a portfolio of solar rooftop systems in what it says is the largest residential renewables transaction ever seen in the UK.
The deal was done by Aviva Investors, the asset management arm, through its infrastructure fund and involves the transfer of about 7,000 solar photovoltaic systems from HomeSun Holdings, a private London-based company.
Most of the panels were installed during the “gold rush” of solar when there was a rise in domestic installations up to the end of 2011.
That came to an end at the turn of the year when the government announced a sudden drop in the “feed-in tariff” subsidy – the guaranteed rate at which homeowners sell energy back to the National Grid – a move that was challenged by green groups. However, ministers insist that the subsidies are still generous enough to encourage homeowners and companies to keep installing panels.
HomeSun built up its portfolio by installing and maintaining solar systems on homeowners’ roofs for free in return for the solar subsidy.
The company will continue to service the panels although Aviva Investors said it intended to build up its portfolio of solar systems and develop its own ability to operate such assets.
Aviva Investors manages several infrastructure funds including one devoted entirely to European renewable energy. This transaction was carried out by its Realm Infrastructure Fund for mostly pension fund clients.
Aviva was advised by AgFe and Clifford Chance while HomeSun was advised by PwC and Eversheds.