Macquarie funds Forrest PV roll-out

Forrest, the contractor, has agreed up to a £120m three-year residential solar power generation funding agreement with investment bank Macquarie Bank.

Under the terms of the deal, the Australia-headquartered bank will fully fund the installation of solar photovoltaic systems over the next three years, providing free daytime electricity at no cost to the end user.

Bolton-based Forrest will be able to install systems on any home which suits the purpose, generally requiring a south facing roof with no shading. The offer is available to any home whether privately or social landlord owned. A 20-year maintenance agreement after installation will ensure that home owners have no costs to bear.

The contractor is set to offer funding packages to its social housing clients across the North of England, Midlands and Wales, while it is also understood to be negotiating partnerships with other installation providers to provide coverage in Scotland and Southern England.

In addition, Forrest is set to open up the deal to private residencies as it aims to deliver £40m of installations in the contract's first year, rising incrementally every 12 months.

Revenues from the Feed in Tariff is used to repay Macquarie Bank.

Ted Macdougal, development director at Forrest, said: "We have now delivered over 6,000 solar PV installations and this agreement will see us significantly expand the scope and scale of our presence in the renewables market over the next two decades.

"In Macquarie, we have a partner with the long-term investment horizon that is necessary to help us deliver thousands more installations even as the FIT levels awarded by the Government gradually reduce.

"An installation of free electricity generating kit of this type is proving to be very effective to everyone we have spoken to and we can understand why. This will reduce every household's energy bills when installed, helping the most vulnerable out of fuel poverty. Those residents with concerns about such issues as rent payment and bedroom tax may be helped enormously and homes will be warmer and healthier as a result. We expect take up to be immense."

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