Cero Generation

Cero Generation finalises sale of 720MW portfolio of UK co-located solar and battery projects

23 February 2023

  • Cero Generation (Cero) has finalised the sale of the UK’s largest co-location portfolio of solar and battery storage projects to DIF Capital Partners and ib vogt.
  • The portfolio is made up of seven greenfield ready-to-build sites with a total capacity of 720MW.
  • Cero will continue to develop and deliver the remaining co-located solar and battery storage projects in the joint venture’s existing 5GW pipeline.

London, UK – Cero has finalised the sale of a 720MW portfolio of UK co-located solar and battery storage projects to DIF Capital Partners and ib vogt. DIF’s investment is being done through its DIF Infrastructure VII fund, which will acquire a 90% interest.

The UK-based portfolio has been developed by Cero’s joint venture with Enso Energy – Enso Green Holdings Limited (EGHL) – and is understood to be the largest co-location portfolio of solar and battery storage in the UK. It consists of seven sites with a total capacity of 720MW (380MW of solar and 340MW of battery storage). Solar EPC and O&M services will be provided by ib vogt.

The acquisition of each project will be completed once each site reaches the ready-to-build stage. The first two projects have already been acquired and have started construction; the expectation is that all projects are acquired by mid-2023 and that they are operational between 2024 and 2026. All individual sites are expected to benefit from CfD contracts or PPAs with corporate or utility off-takers.

DIF and ib vogt are currently in the process of raising a non-recourse debt financing facility to fund the construction of the portfolio.

“We are delighted that DIF and ib vogt will be taking forward this sizeable portfolio into the next phase of its lifecycle. They will be continuing our work with Enso Energy following the development of the projects from conception through planning, and successfully to ready-to-build. This portfolio will make a significant contribution to the UK’s efforts to achieve net zero by 2050, with the co-location of solar and battery storage playing a key role in the de-carbonisation of the grid. We will continue to develop and deliver the UK solar and battery projects in the joint venture’s existing pipeline, which extends to 5GW, and a further 5GW of early-stage opportunities.” 

Marta Martínez Queimadelos, CEO, Cero Generation

“The sale of these ready-to-build assets is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the Enso and Cero teams, and we look forward to seeing the DIF/ib vogt team take them forward to construction and operation. This transaction provides further evidence that co-located solar and battery storage projects connecting directly to the transmission network are attractive to funders and investors and will play an important role in the delivery of the UK’s net zero plans”.

Andrew King, Managing Director, Enso

“This transaction perfectly fits in DIF’s build to core strategy and will make a significant contribution to the UK’s efforts to achieve net zero by 2050. It represents DIF’s first direct investment into the asset class of utility scale energy storage, which is an essential component of future electricity markets. DIF is continuing to work closely with Enso Energy and Cero Generation to bring the remaining assets in the portfolio to ready-to-build stage and is excited to make this investment in a partnership with ib vogt”.

Gijs Voskuyl, partner and Head of Infrastructure, DIF Capital Partners

EGHL was supported by PKF and TLT through the transaction. DIF was advised by Elgar Middleton, Lazard and CMS.

Media Enquiries

Contact: cero@standagency.com


About Cero Generation

Cero Generation is a leading renewables platform working across Europe to support the transition to a net-zero future, for this and every generation.

Active throughout the project lifecycle, from development through to construction and operations, Cero’s highly experienced team brings world-class industrial, commercial and technical expertise to its projects.

Cero’s development portfolio is one of the largest in Europe, covering utility-scale solar as well as integrated energy storage solutions. Cero works closely with local development partners and suppliers to deliver high-quality, high-performing assets.

Cero is an independent portfolio company of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG), operating on a stand-alone basis.

About DIF Capital Partners

DIF Capital Partners is an independent infrastructure fund manager, with more than EUR 15 billion of AUM. DIF was founded in 2005 and has built a leading position in managing mid-market investments, primarily in Europe, North America and Australia.

DIF follows two strategies: its traditional DIF funds invest in lower risk mid-sized infrastructure projects and companies in the energy transition (incl. renewables) and utilities sector, as well as PPPs and concessions. The firm’s CIF funds invest in small to mid-sized companies that will thrive in the new economy. These companies are typically active in the digital, energy transition and sustainable transportation sector.

With a team of over 210 professionals in 11 offices, DIF Capital Partners offers a unique market approach combining global presence with the benefits of strong local networks and investment capabilities. DIF is located in Amsterdam (Schiphol), Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, New York, Paris, Santiago, Sydney and Toronto.

For more information, please visit www.dif.eu.

About Enso Energy

Enso Energy is one of the UK’s most experienced renewable energy developers, focused on developing renewable energy sites that drive the transition to net zero.

Enso’s team of experts have a deep understanding of the energy industry and how to meet the requirements of a fast-moving sector. With a background in large scale renewable energy, the team have delivered over 1.2GW of renewable energy and storage projects since 2019.

Enso Energy believes that it is only with the support of the people most affected by renewable energy development that we can keep the lights on. That is why Enso’s expert team is honest, considerate and diligent with an ambition to use the latest solar technology to make a positive impact on the country and the communities it works in.

To find out more visit: https://www.ensoenergy.co.uk/

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