25 Sep 2020

£30m funding enables Innova Energy to continue solar energy growth

NatWest has provided £30m debt funding to Innova Energy for solar energy projects.

Innova Energy (“Innova”), a private equity-backed renewable energy generator has secured £30m of debt funding from NatWest to finance a mixed portfolio of UK rooftop and ground-mounted solar PV projects with a total installed capacity of 57 MW. The funding makes up part of NatWest’s commitment to provide £20bn of funding for climate and sustainable finance by the end of 2022 to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.

This transaction represents NatWest’s first SONIA-based loan for a project finance funding requirement. The loan references recently-announced Sterling Risk-Free Rates Working Group recommendations on compounding. At the same time, NatWest Markets supported Innova with managing both the SONIA floating rate exposure of the loan and the inflation risk linked to the revenue stream of the project. 

The portfolio of solar projects is part of Innova’s strategy and commitment to invest in quality assets generating green power across a diverse range UK sites, including selling power to industrial and commercial customers. The projects are accredited under both the government’s ROC2 and FIT3 regimes.

Gauri Kasbekar-Shah, Director, Project and Infrastructure Financing at NatWest added: “As the leading lender to the UK renewables sector5, we are delighted to be able to support Innova to enable them to continue to grow their green energy portfolio, helping to contribute to our move to a low carbon economy. We have worked together on this innovative SONIA-based solution, which we believe to be the first for a renewables project finance deal and a template for future transactions in the sector.”

Andrew Kaye, Co-founder and Director of Innova Energy commented: “We have enjoyed working in partnership with NatWest to deliver secure low-cost finance, hedged interest rate and inflation risks and to create a platform for future growth. NatWest’s commitment to the low carbon economy and flexible approach has helped us to do this.  We are now ideally placed to continue providing locally-generated green solutions to energy users across the UK.” 

Innova’s portfolio includes solar PV plants located in England, Wales and Scotland, of which the largest ground-mounted plant is 11.1MWp West Hill solar farm, located in North Devon on the south side of the Bristol Channel, and the largest commercial rooftop is a 1.6MWp installation in Boston supplying power to Greenyard Frozen Foods. 

The Innova portfolio generates 53.5GWh of electricity from solar and helps abate approximately 21,400 tonnes CO2 per annum. 


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