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2 December 20213 minute read

DLA Piper has acted as legal adviser to UK Infrastructure Bank on its first private-sector transaction which relates to the financing of a portfolio of subsidy-free solar projects

The UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) has made its first private-sector transaction, providing financing to the initial seed assets of NextEnergy Capital’s (NEC) GBP500m subsidy free solar fund – comprising two major subsidy-free solar farms in the UK.

NEC’s fund will be the largest subsidy-free solar investment fund in the UK and, once fully operational, it will have an expected generation capacity of c. 1 gigawatt of power from around 30 solar farms across the UK. It will produce enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of 280,000 households or offset 370,000 carbon-emitting cars on the road each year.

UKIB was launched in June 2021 to support infrastructure investment to help tackle climate change and boost regional and local economic growth across the UK. The investment marks a significant step in helping the UK government meet its net zero goals.

The DLA Piper team was led by London-based Finance, Projects & Restructuring partner Nacim Bounouara, who was assisted on the financing side by Neetu Sehdev (senior associate), Sam Newman (associate), Emmanuel Olawore (associate) and Artem Gorodilov (trainee solicitor). Global Co-Chair of Energy and Natural Resources, Natasha Luther-Jones as well as Andrew Clarke and their respective teams on projects, planning and real estate also provided advice on this transaction.

Commenting on the transaction, partner Nacim Bounouara, said: “It has been an honour to have advised the UK Infrastructure Bank on their first private-sector transaction. The UK Infrastructure Bank will play an important role in the Government’s ambitions to tackle climate change and create opportunities for levelling up and we are very proud to have contributed to these important goals.”