Bluefield Solar Income Fund (BSIF) has teamed up with GLIL Infrastructure (GLIL) to invest in UK-focused solar assets, from development through to operational plants.
GLIL is a partnership of UK pensions funds, investing into core UK infrastructure. They include Local Pensions Partnership Investments, Greater Manchester Pension Fund, Merseyside Pension Fund, West Yorkshire Pension Fund and Nest. It has a £3 billion portfolio of infrastructure assets.
The strategic partnership offers the opportunity for both parties to invest in a sizeable renewable energy pipeline.
It also offers a chance to diversify portfolio revenues, provide an additional external validation of asset values and create further liquidity. As a long-term investor into solar assets, GLIL is the ideal partner for a company like BSIF, sharing its multi-decade view of asset management.
As Chris Rule, Member of the GLIL Infrastructure Executive Committee, notes: “Entering into a long-term strategic partnership with one of the most respected and leading asset owners in this sector is very exciting for GLIL. Being able to acquire and develop further renewable energy assets is very important for our Members, all of whom are deeply committed to investing in the energy transition and working towards a sustainable net zero economy.”
For Bluefield Partners Founder James Armstrong, the partnership with GLIL is “exciting for several reasons”.
He says: “We have been listening to feedback from our shareholders and the strategic partnership with GLIL enables us to deliver on a number of key areas simultaneously: to diversify the portfolios revenues; provide an additional external validation of asset values; create additional liquidity; and to partner with a like-minded investment group.”
Armstrong adds: “As a long-term investor into solar assets, GLIL is the ideal partner for a company like Bluefield Solar, sharing our multi-decade view of asset management. We have always focused on the long-term interests of the shareholders, and we believe this strategic partnership can deliver short-term solutions and long-term benefits to Bluefield Solar investors.”
With COP28 calling for a tripling of solar power capacity by 2030, partnerships like this help BSIF play its part in achieving this goal.
The strategic partnership, which was signed in December 2023, will be in three distinct phases.
Firstly, BSIF will invest £2o million of equity – alongside £200 million from GLIL – into a UK-based solar portfolio to be acquired from Lightsource bp.
Secondly, a provisional agreement has been reached for GLIL to acquire a 50% stake in a portfolio of operational UK solar assets currently owned by BSIF. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2024. The third phase will involve GLIL committing to fund a section of BSIF’s development pipeline, assuming market conditions are supportive. The assets are expected to be connected to the grid over the next two to three years.