MAAS Capital and Solarplicity: a revolution in renewable energy

Take 800,000 social housing houses and the creation of 1,000 new jobs across the UK, add in solar rooftops and a new business model and you’ve got Solarplicity.

29 December 2017
Collaboration

Maas Capital is a dedicated investor with a long-term vision and focus on the Shipping and Intermodal, Oil and Gas and Renewables sectors.

Solarplicity is one the UK’s leading renewable energy providers.

Since 2009 it has provided 100% renewable electricity with complete transparency, enabling more people to enjoy lower energy bills.

Purple solar panels

“There’s a revolution afoot in producing renewable energy,” says Burges Salmon’s head of Energy Ross Fairley, “and it’s going to change how we all see the market over the next couple of years.”

Take 800,000 social housing houses and the creation of 1,000 new jobs across the UK, add in solar rooftops and a new business model and you’ve got Solarplicity.

“The model opens up huge possibilities for the deployment of green energy and was a great opportunity for us,” explains Pieter Smit, Investment Manager at Dutch investor Maas Capital. “The many hundreds of thousands of rooftops available on social housing in the UK are attractive to solar power providers. So we worked with Solarplicity on its business model to make sure that tenants would benefit from having the panels installed – the programme could result in annual energy savings of up to £192 million for 800,000 households – and that the excess power generated would be put back into the grid.”

The proof of concept is not a small one – Maas Capital announced in late 2017 that it was looking to initially invest up to £160 million. The move is, according to industry watchers, the first step in a £1 billion programme. That means that Solarplicity would rank as one of the UK’s largest solar businesses and one of its largest energy providers too.

“We had to work around some significant challenges,” says energy sector partner Jonny Eves who led on the deal for Burges Salmon. “Solarplicity and Maas wanted to make sure that the model was attractive to future tenants of the properties as well as today’s, as more social housing becomes available it’s a win for everyone. As Solarplicity is able to install more solar panels on roofs and is a larger player, the tenants get cheaper energy bills. Maas has a model that will reward its investment and the country has more local decarbonised energy.”

“As well as getting cheaper energy, the model is structured to reward those who make payments regularly and on time,” explains Jonny.

The investment, which was enabled through the help of the Department for International Trade (DIT), will see 100,000 households receive solar panels over the next 18 months, reducing their energy bills to an average of £240 a year.

“It’s great to be part of a deal that has collaboration, ambition and some seriously green credentials at the heart of it,” concludes Jonny.

MAAS Capital and Solarplicity: a revolution in renewable energy

It’s great to be part of a deal that has collaboration, ambition and some seriously green credentials at the heart of it.
Jonny Eves, Partner, Burges Salmon

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