The acquisition of a 177MW wind portfolio from HgCapital, which includes the developer RidgeWind, was completed this week. Blue Energy expects to invest £250 million to acquire RidgeWind and build its development portfolio.
RidgeWind, founded in 2003, is one of the UK’s leading independent onshore wind farm developers with a portfolio of 45MW of projects in late stage construction, 132MW with planning permission, and a significant development pipeline.
RidgeWind marks a step change in its onshore wind development and investment programme. The acquisition was funded by Blue Energy’s shareholders, with support from the company’s relationship bank Santander.
Blue Energy CEO Chris Dean said: “This transaction is an important milestone for the growth of Blue Energy and demonstrates our strong commitment to the UK onshore wind sector. Blue Energy has ambitious growth plans and we aim to progress further transactions of a similar nature in the UK wind sector this year. RidgeWind gives us a strong portfolio, and an experienced development team who have pioneered innovative community benefit schemes, which are so important in winning local support for wind farms.”
Two RidgeWind projects are about to become operational: Hall Farm, a 24.6MW wind farm near Beverley, in Yorkshire, is due to commence generation this week and the 20.5MW Wandylaw farm, north of Alnwick, Northumberland, is due to complete and commence generation in March. RidgeWind also has planning permission for four more wind farms: Beinneun, an 85MW project near Invergarry, Inverness-shire; Middlewick, 20.7MW near Southminster, Essex;Nutsgrove, 14.35MW near Peterborough; and Grange, 12.3MW near Scunthorpe, Lincs.
The RidgeWind team will be integrated into Blue Energy. Development of RidgeWind’s existing projects will continue uninterrupted and new projects will be developed under the Blue Energy banner. Collectively the members of RidgeWind’s team have more than 60 years of rural land management experience and more than 60 years of energy development experience.
Exciting times ahead for Blue Energy who plans further significant UK onshore wind acquisitions in 2013.