Germany’s RWE sells £648m stake in UK wind farm

Humber Gateway Offshore Wind Farm

Greencoat UK Wind plc (UKW) said on Monday it agreed to acquire a 49% stake in the Humber Gateway offshore wind farm from German utility RWE, in partnership with a group of pension funds investing through a fund managed by Greencoat Capital. 

Greencoat UK Wind will acquire a 38% stake in the wind farm for £500 million including cash and working capital, while the pension funds will acquire an 11% stake for £148 million, with the total cash payable to RWE at completion being £648 million. 

RWE will continue to hold the remaining 51%.

Humber Gateway is located five miles off the Yorkshire coast and is serviced from Grimsby.

The 219MW wind farm was commissioned in June 2015 and comprises 73 Vestas 3MW turbines. 

A route-to-market power purchase agreement is in place.

Following completion, expected to be around the middle of December, Greencoat UK Wind will have £1.1 billion of outstanding debt, equating to 33% of gross asset value.

Greencoat UK Wind chair Shonaid Jemmett-Page said: “We are delighted to announce our investment in Humber Gateway, a high load factor, ROC accredited offshore wind farm. 

“This transaction adds another attractive asset to our portfolio which will stand at 38 wind farm investments, with a generating capacity of 1.2GW. 

“We are also very pleased to be able to play our part in the wider development of the wind industry, heralded by recent government announcements, and enabling the continued build out of further offshore generating capacity in the UK.” 

Laurence Fumagalli of Greencoat Capital said: “We are pleased to add this sizeable offshore wind farm investment to our portfolio, which builds on the relationship we have with RWE that dates back to 2013 with the acquisition of Rhyl Flats and Little Cheyne Court, seed assets in the IPO. 

“This will be the third investment we have made this year, and we continue to see an attractive pipeline of acquisition opportunities, both onshore and offshore, as we remain committed to our disciplined investment approach.”

RWE said: “The transaction with Greencoat also demonstrates the attractiveness of the United Kingdom for investment in wind power. 

“The market provides great potential for growth with significant buildout targets. 

“This means the UK will play a key role in RWE’s strategy to grow its renewables business and to become carbon neutral by 2040. 

“The company is currently constructing the offshore wind farm Triton Knoll and is developing the Sofia offshore project which will enlarge RWE’s existing UK portfolio of nine offshore wind farms. 

“In addition, RWE recently signed Agreements for Lease with The Crown Estate to develop extension projects at four offshore wind farms. 

“Furthermore, the company has a strong footprint in the UK onshore market …”