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Acquisition of a US Commercial District Energy System

Posted on: April 6th, 2021 by Michael Smeeth

SEEIT has agreed to acquire a 100% equity interest in a commercial district energy system, RED-Rochester, LLC, (”RED”) from a fund managed by an affiliate of Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners for an equity cash consideration of approximately $177 million.

RED is one of North America’s largest district energy systems with 117 MW of steam turbine generators plus boilers, chillers and other equipment that provide exclusive utility services to commercial and industrial customers within the 1,200 acre Eastman Business Park, located in Rochester, New York. The park’s origins date back to 1891 when Kodak started manufacturing film and paper in four newly constructed buildings and is now host to a diversified base of commercial and industrial businesses including manufacturing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and food and beverages.

As the exclusive provider of utility services to the park, RED offers 16 on-site services including electricity, steam, chilled water, wastewater, compressed air, nitrogen, lake water treatment, industrial water distribution and high purity water distribution. This “plug-and-play” set of utility services is a key attraction of the park, providing simple integration for new customers and allowing existing customers to expand their operations.

RED has over 100 commercial and industrial customers, typically contracted on a 20-year fixed-term basis with automatic five or ten year renewals, linked to their tenancy on the Eastman Business Park. The contracts provide stable and predictable cash flows with substantial mitigation against volatility in demand. Some two thirds of the value of RED’s offtake contracts are derived from investment grade or equivalent counterparties(1). RED’s cost base is relatively fixed, providing good visibility of cashflows.

Since 2016, RED has delivered 40+ energy efficiency projects across its operations that have resulted in annual savings of over $4 million and carbon savings of over 50%. Additionally, the Investment Manager has identified a further pipeline of potentially accretive energy efficiency initiatives that it believes can deliver additional cost and carbon savings.

The acquisition will be funded from existing cash reserves and RCF facilities, which includes the capital raised by SEEIT in the equity fundraising in February. RED’s existing project debt finance facilities, which are equivalent to c.$83 million, will remain in place. Completion of the acquisition is expected after satisfactory conclusion of customary regulatory conditions and consents.

The investment is expected to achieve SEEIT’s total returns objectives and to further support its progressive dividend policy.

Commenting on the acquisition, Jonathan Maxwell CEO and Founder of Sustainable Development Capital LLP, said:

“SEEIT is acquiring an operational and established district energy system that provides a range of essential and efficient energy services and utilities to a diversified customer base on one of the largest business parks in the United States of America. We expect the project to make positive contributions to SEEIT’s earnings and cash flow. At the same time, the project offers the potential for growth over the medium to long term through the addition of new customers and the implementation of accretive energy efficiency measures.”

Link to RNS

Agreement Signed with Chargemaster Limited

Posted on: March 30th, 2021 by Michael Smeeth

SEEIT is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with , the UK’s largest operator of public electric vehicle charging points.

The agreement represents a significant step forward in the roll out of national EV charging infrastructure, expected to result in the development and construction by The EV Network of a significant number of rapid and ‘ultra-fast’ EV charging locations.

Development and construction is expected to start immediately, with the first sites targeted to be operational by mid to end of 2021.

This national EV station roll out for bp pulse will include state of the art ‘hubs’ of between six to twelve chargers, as well as the next generation of ‘e-forecourts’ with up to 24 ultra-fast charge points (300KW) with on-site solar PV and battery storage systems. The e-forecourts will have both retail and convenience facilities for the drivers while they are waiting for their cars to be charged.

EVN plans to develop a further c.400 EV charging sites, and SEEIT has the right of first refusal to  provide an additional c.£150 million in the next 24-36 months.

Commenting on the investment, Jonathan Maxwell, CEO of SDCL, said: “Electric vehicle sales in the UK are at an inflection point, making the immediate scaling up of high quality, rapid and widely available EV charging infrastructure of critical importance. This investment, in partnership with the Electric Vehicle Network, is a significant commitment to EV charging infrastructure in the UK and we look forward to supporting and enabling the market for sustainable and low carbon transport, helping to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Link to RNS

Further investment in Primary Energy

Posted on: January 4th, 2021 by Michael Smeeth

SEEIT is pleased to announce that it has acquired an additional 15% interest in Primary Energy, a portfolio of recycled energy and cogeneration projects located in Indiana, USA, from a consortium led by Fortistar LLC (”Fortistar”) for an equity cash consideration of approximately $36 million. 

SEEIT acquired an initial 50% interest in Primary Energy in February 2020. Following this acquisition, SEEIT’s interest in Primary Energy is now 65%. SEEIT has also agreed terms under which it could increase its stake and further enhance returns for shareholders.

The 298MW portfolio consists of five operating projects which generate low-cost, efficient energy with substantial environmental benefits via three recycled energy projects, one natural gas combined heat and power project and a 50% interest in an industrial process efficiency project.  

The portfolio projects are located within the Indiana Harbor Works and involve two of the most efficient and advanced steel mills in the United States. Four of the five projects relate to steel mills that are now owned by Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (”Cleveland-Cliffs”) following its acquisition of ArcelorMittal USA, making Cleveland-Cliffs the largest flat-rolled steel producer as well as the largest iron ore pellet producer in North America. One of the five projects services Midwest Steel, a subsidiary of United States Steel Corporation. The projects are fully integrated into the steel mill facilities, including fuel handling and emissions control equipment and systems that are critical for the operations of the facilities.

The acquisition is funded from existing cash reserves. Primary Energy’s existing project debt finance facilities, which are equivalent to c.$186 million, will remain in place.

Commenting on the acquisition, Jonathan Maxwell, CEO of Sustainable Development Capital LLP, said: “We are pleased that SEEIT is increasing its stake in Primary Energy, which provides critical and cost-effective low carbon energy services to key industrial sites. Industrial energy efficiency is a key focus for SEEIT and is a major source of greenhouse gas emission reductions as well as productivity gains. The investment follows a period of substantial growth and diversification in SEEIT’s investment portfolio and is made within the context of an improved market background and outlook”.

Link to RNS

 

Acquisition of Solar and Storage Projects in the United States

Posted on: December 24th, 2020 by Michael Smeeth

SEEIT is pleased to announce that it has agreed to acquire a series of portfolios of commercial and industrial (“C&I”) on-site solar and energy storage projects in the United States, together with a 50% interest in the platform that has created them, Onyx Renewable Partners (“Onyx”) from funds managed by Blackstone (”Blackstone”) for a consideration of approximately $150 million. Blackstone will remain a 50% partner in Onyx.

SEEIT will acquire a 100% interest in four portfolios totalling over 175 MW, which provide renewable energy generated on-site directly to the end-user, and a 50% interest in Onyx’s follow-on pipeline, which is projected to exceed 500MW over the next 5 years. The four portfolios comprise over 200 operational, construction and development stage rooftop, carport and ‘private wire’ ground mounted solar PV projects, located in 18 US states. Clients include municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals, military housing providers, utilities and corporates.

The operational projects are contracted under long-term power purchase agreements with predominantly investment grade C&I counterparties. At present c.27% of the portfolio (by installed MWs) are operational or near operational, with the remainder expected to become fully operational over the next 12 to 18 months. All projects benefit from robust contracts as to construction and operations with experienced EPC and O&M subcontractors.

Onyx has a highly experienced and dedicated project development and asset management team based in New York. It will develop and manage further C&I on-site solar and energy storage projects in the United States, which SEEIT will have a right of first refusal to purchase at a pre-agreed rate of return. The investment provides SEEIT with a substantial initial portfolio and a scalable pipeline of opportunities in a major growth market. It also has strong diversification benefits with investments being made in portfolios of projects, including smaller projects under 5 MW as well as larger projects of 5 to 15+ MW.

The Onyx projects are well aligned to SEEIT’s investment policy as they increase the supply of renewable energy generated on-site and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions arising from the supply, distribution and consumption of energy. They deliver cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy solutions directly to the end user. The investment will help SEEIT to achieve its total returns targets – offering the opportunity for capital growth from the pipeline as well as income – and to support its progressive dividend policy.

The acquisition will be funded from existing cash reserves and debt facilities. Onyx’s existing project debt finance facilities, which are equivalent to c.£27 million at acquisition, will remain in place.

Completion of the acquisition is expected in the coming weeks, after satisfaction of certain customary conditions and consents.

Commenting on the acquisition, Jonathan Maxwell, CEO of Sustainable Development Capital LLP, said: “We are delighted to further diversify the SEEIT portfolio through the acquisition of these on-site solar and storage projects and to partner with Blackstone in one of the largest sustainable energy initiatives of its kind in the United States. The projects will make a meaningful impact to reduce the carbon footprint of commercial and industrial clients across the United States by providing cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy directly at the point of use and is strongly aligned with SEEIT’s investment policy and objectives, as well as the global climate policy agenda.”

Link to RNS