Rockfire Capital snaps up 60 MW UK solar farm


One of the largest solar farms in the U.K. has been purchased this week for an undisclosed sum by British specialist investment management company Rockfire Capital.

The 60.9 MW solar plant formerly owned by WELink Energy and developed by British Solar Renewables (BSR) is located some 6km south of the English town of Swindon, and is located on 172 acres of land owned by the Science Museum Group.

The plant was developed by BSR to utilize a disused brownfield site, and built to nurture a biodiverse habitat including rare native plants and endangered animals. The solar farm supplies enough clean energy to meet the power needs of 15,400 local households annually, and mitigates the impact of 35 tonnes of C02 a year.

Rockfire Capital said that the plant has also secured a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with a leading U.K. bank. Principal investors that backed the firm’s acquisition include the borough councils of Warrington, Newham and Thurrock – making them among the first local authorities (LA) in the U.K. to invest in cleantech bonds, which are an innovative way to ‘green’ local community infrastructure without burdening the taxpayer.

Rockfire founder and CEO Liam Kavanagh spoke of his delight in completing the purchase of the Swindon solar farm, and remarked that the deal is part of the firm’s wider plans to expand nationally and into European markets.

"We have long been advocates of renewable energy and offer a range of ways for both instititutions and individuals to invest in the sector, which has included the U.K.’s largest renewables mini-bond that offered 6% returns," Kavanagh said. "Renewable energy assets not only offer investors attractive and reliable yields, but are also a way for them to invest in something that positively impacts the environment."