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United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Blue Energy aquires 177MW wind portfolio

UK: British developer Blue Energy has acquired a 177MW portfolio of pipeline wind projects from private equity fund HgCapital.

The portfolio includes developer RidgeWind and its 45MW of projects in late-stage and around 160MW in early-stage construction, as well as 132MW with construction permission. Blue Energy expects to invest £250 million (€290 million) in total buying and developing the portfolio.

Two RidgeWind projects are about to become operational: Hall Farm, a 24.6MW wind farm near Beverley,  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 construction permission for four more wind farms: Beinneun, an 85MW project near Invergarry, Inverness-shire; Middlewick, 20.7MW near Southminster, Essex; 14.35MW at Nutsgrove, near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire; and the 12.3MW Grangeproject near Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire.

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.

RidgeWind's pioneering of new methods of sharing wind farm benefits with local communities, including providing electricity funds for area residents and university scholarships for local students, also proved attractive.

"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," said Blue Energy CEO Chris Dean.

HgCapital Renewable Power Partners, HgCapital’s first dedicated renewable energy investment fund, acquired 100% of RidgeWind in 2007. During HgCapital’s ownership RidgeWind grew from a development portfolio that included one permitted site of 16MW, to successfully permitting a further six sites totalling 177MW.

The sale of RidgeWind follows the fund’s sale of its three UK operating wind farms with a combined capacity of 102MW to Munich Re in August 2012.

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