United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Matching investors and wind projects -- British money management

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British investment advisor FIM Services has bought the rights to a 10.4 MW project in Cumbria in north-east England from npower renewables on behalf of a group of private investors. Wharrels Hill near Bothel is the second planned wind plant acquired by FIM following its purchase last year of the 3.9 MW Arnish Moor project in the Western Isles.

FIM manages tax efficient private investments in a range of products, mostly based on forestry. It manages some 50,000 hectares of land throughout the UK for its clients who the company's Bruce Hutt describes as "high net worth individuals." It began looking at renewable energy investments around four or five years ago, says Hutt. "We wanted to realise additional value for our clients." FIM put together an innovative financing package, matching the tax liabilities of a small group of investors against the profile of a wind farm. "It delivers more value to landowners, developers and investors," he says.

FIM is currently advising landowners on potential investments in wind totalling over 1000 MW -- either under option or going through the planning process. All the investors in Wharrels Hill are keen to make further investments in wind, he says.

FIM has awarded the turnkey turbine construction contract for eight 1.3 MW machines at Wharrels Hill to Nordex. Wind Prospect is to manage both the construction and operation of the wind farm under a ten year contract, having already conducted the technical and commercial due diligence for FIM's acquisition of the project. Wind Prospect is also currently managing the construction of Arnish Moor for FIM. Construction at Wharrels Hill starts this month, with turbines delivered to site in early 2007 and full commissioning by May 2007.

Richard Crosbie Dawson, FIM's managing director says: "With developments ongoing in both Scotland and England, we are also in active discussion with developers on projects in Wales." The company has a ready supply of clients and is in a position to conclude significant further deals, he adds. "We would be keen to hear from developers who are seeking to finance projects and also from investors interested in the potential that renewable energy projects have to offer."

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