Harnessing the sun: Hazel Capital LLP

As an FCA registered, independent specialist investment manager, Hazel Capital LLP invests in projects in the clean energy sector, specifically focusing on solar PV and small wind farm projects.

Based in London, Hazel Capital LLP is one of Europe’s fastest growing renewable energy infrastructure investors and is compiling a sizeable and very impressive portfolio of developments.

Where previously Hazel had focused on developing its UK projects under the Feed In Tariff (FIT) subsidy regime – its Hazel Renewable Energy VCTs own six higher rate FIT solar parks among other FIT projects – over the last 18 months the company has shifted its focus to the development of larger ground-mounted solar installations which are accredited under the UK government’s ROC (Renewable Obligation Certificate) Scheme.

In this time Hazel has developed more than 13 ROC projects in the UK solar sector, with a total funding requirement of over £130 million. Of these, four of the projects were sold to institutional counterparties prior to construction; five – which includes the recent 33MW Wymeswold airfield solar farm – were constructed before 31st March 2013 achieving the 2 ROC accreditation banding; the remainder have planning permission and are due for completion by December 2013.

Located on the former World War II Wymeswold Airfield in Leicestershire, planning permission was approved for Wymeswold Farm in November 2012. Hazel Capital LLP partnered with leading UK solar development and construction company, Lark Energy on the development, which is the UK’s largest solar farm to date.

Three slightly smaller solar projects for Hazel Capital include Jordanston Farm, Halse Farm and Horsacott Farm. Jordanston comprises 19,296 Yingli panels, Halse comprises 34,752 Yingli panels and Horsacott includes 26,160 Canadian solar panels.

Early stage development on these three projects was carried out by counterparties AEE Renewables (Halse and Jordanston Farm) and Lumicity Limited (Horsacott). All three projects were then constructed by German construction specialists, Goldbeck Solar GmbH over a three month period.

Goldbeck Solar GmbH is a medium-sized owner-operated group of companies specialising in the design, construction and service of projects. The majority of Goldbeck Solar GmbH’s system elements are built in-house, making it an economic, energy-efficient company.

The three sites that Goldbeck Solar GmbH worked on with Hazel Capital have proved very important for the company as it continues to expand into the UK solar market. Discussing the importance of their involvement on UK schemes such as these, Goldbeck Solar GmbH CEO Joachim Goldbeck, said:

“The UK will stay a highly interesting market for us – next to our markets in Germany and Italy. We will keep growing in times where other companies in the solar industry are more likely contracting.”

Located in Tenby, Wales, Jordanston Farm is a solar farm covering an area of 26 acres, with a capacity of 4.6MW and an irradiation level of 1223 kWh/m₂/yr. Planning for the site was approved in September 2012.

Meanwhile, Horsacott Farm is located in Lydacott, Barnstaple in Devon and has a capacity of 6.4MW, with planning given for the site in October 2012. The third site, Halse Farm, has a capacity of 8.2MW and is located in Bishop’s Lydeard, near Taunton Somerset.

Civil engineering and groundworks specialists MDC Contractors worked on Jordanston Farm and Halse Farm, completing the ground works, civil works, reinstatement and water management on the sites.

MDC Contractors Managing Director, Matt Cole, said:

“We are heavily involved in work within the energy sector, starting out on Pembroke Power Station before moving into the solar farm sector. Working on solar farm sites we conducted all the ground works, road trenches and concrete works on the site.”

Matt added:

“Working on sites such as Jordanston Farm and Halse Farm is quite important to us as it is satisfying to see the solar energy sector continuing to develop. Renewable energy is both good for our company and for the future development of the energy sector.”

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