NextEnergy Buys Another U.K. Solar Farm Before Subsidies End

(Bloomberg) — NextEnergy Solar Fund Ltd., an investment
company with shares listed in London, agreed to buy its second
solar power plant this month before the U.K. changes the way it
supports renewables.

NextEnergy will acquire a 6.5-megawatt facility in Devon
for about 7.5 million pounds ($11 million), it said Thursday in
an e-mailed statement. That means the fund now owns 14 assets
totaling about 155 megawatts for a cumulative investment of
179.2 million pounds, it said.

Solar-energy developers in Britain are rushing to complete
projects before April, when the government will end subsidies to
sun-powered plants of more than 5 megawatts under its Renewables
Obligation program. Thereafter, projects must compete with
onshore wind farms for premium payments for their power as part
of reforms to the energy market.

Electricity from onshore wind currently costs about $85 a
megawatt-hour, cheaper than coal-fired power at $90.70. Solar
averages about $136, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The U.K. on Feb. 26 published the winners of its first subsidy-allocation round as part of the new measures. There were 15
successful onshore-wind applications, five solar and two
offshore wind.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Louise Downing in London at
ldowning4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at
landberg@bloomberg.net
Ana Monteiro

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