Utility Week

UTILITY Week 29th April 2016

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/671860

Contents of this Issue


Page 14 of 31

Finance & Investment This week Ecotricity buys ailing solar panel business Acquisition of SunEdison's home rooftop division is Ecotricity's first step into domestic solar market Ecotricity has made its first move into the UK domestic solar market, with the acquisition of the home rooop solar busi- ness of struggling US company SunEdison. SunEdison last week filed for bankruptcy protection in the US, aer a two-year, $3.1 billion acquisition binge that "drove its debt to unmanageable levels and sent investors running for the exits", according to Jenny Chase, head of solar research at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The firm had built a portfolio of nearly 1,000 rooop solar installations in the UK, before it quit the market in 2015, blaming the government's feed-in tariff proposals. Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said the acquisition was an "exciting and important step" for the company. "The government's cuts to the feed-in tariff, and its broader attack on the renewables industry, have caused a significant problem for companies like SunEdison: we have seen some go bust and others quit the UK market, losing a lot of jobs as a result," he said. "This is our first step into the domestic solar market, and as the price of the technology continues to fall, we're confident that it's only a matter of time before we can resume the work SunEdison started." Ecotricity is also considering lodging an appeal against Winchester City Council's rejection of its plan- ning application to build a green gas mill in Hampshire. The firm had hoped to finance and build the mill with an initial £10 million investment, and also to fund the development of a renewable energy academy. SJ ELECTRICITY DSR firm secures Grid pilot funding Demand-side response (DSR) firm Upside Energy has secured £545,000 of seed funding from investors to expand its man- agement team and run a pilot project with National Grid. The company is aiming to sell balancing services to grid operators by aggregating DSR from households and small businesses. Its service will utilise energy stored by devices its customers already own, such as electric vehicles, batteries attached to solar panels, domes- tic heating systems and back-up IT equipment power supplies. Upside Energy has already received grants totalling £810,000 from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and Innovate UK, among others. The company hopes to begin the National Grid pilot later this quarter, getting 1MW of DSR signed up by the end of 2016. It plans to start commercial opera- tions at the beginning of 2017, reaching 27MW of capacity in the first 12 months. ENERGY British Gas to cut 684 jobs at Oldbury British Gas plans to close its Oldbury office and call centre, with the loss of 684 jobs from its service division. A consultation will be held with employees over the next 45 days. The supplier said it will try to redeploy work- ers to other parts of the business if the closure goes ahead. Claire Miles, managing director of customer operations, said: "Since last summer, British Gas has been implementing a strategy to improve service and reduce costs to ensure we can price competitively. We must also respond to the changing needs of our customers, and they increasingly want to con- tact us online. "For these reasons, we are planning to consolidate our activity on fewer sites." ENERGY EDF buys nuclear waste business EDF has signed an agreement to acquire the nuclear waste treat- ment business of Swedish firm Studsvik. The £30 million deal includes a facility at Working- ton in the UK, which is used to decontaminate metals for recy- cling or compact them so they can be stored more cheaply. The French energy supplier will also take ownership of a waste treatment facility near Nyköping in Sweden. The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2016. EDF and Studs- vik will also work together on nuclear decommissioning and waste management. Rooftop solar: hindered by cuts to feed-in tariffs UTILITY WEEK | 29TH APRIL - 5TH MAY 2016 | 15 Stock watch 12.5 12.0 11.5 11.0 10.5 EDF SHARE PRICE, 21-26 APRIL 2016 21 April 22 April 25 April 26 April 25 20 15 10 5 EDF SHARE PRICE, APRIL 2015 - APRIL 2016 Jul 2015 Oct 2015 Jan 2016 Apr 2016 Shares in French state-controlled EDF plunged on Monday morning, on the first day of trading aer the company unveiled a plan to raise €4 billion (£3.1 billion) by selling new shares. Shares were trading at €11.35 by 11:00, down approximately 7.3 per cent compared with the share price at market close on Friday. Shares in the company have been declining steadily over the past year, from a high of €23.21 on 22 May 2015.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - UTILITY Week 29th April 2016