THE Renewables Infrastructure Group has said it is in the market for more windfarm acquisitions in Scotland as it underlined the value of the subsidies that are available to sector players.

The investment business made £100 million profit before tax in the latest year although demand for energy was impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

While the profit figure was £62m lower than in the preceding year TRIG felt able to declare dividends of 6.76p per share for the year, in line with the target. Payouts totalled 6.64p per share in the preceding year.

“Cash receipts were affected by lower power prices, caused by the Covid-19-related restrictions reducing energy demand,” said TRIG its results statement.

It added: “The potential impact was largely mitigated as the majority of asset-level revenues in the year were linked to fixed electricity pricing or subsidies.”

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The comments highlight the fact that firms that operate windfarms can generate steady returns under the kind of long-term contracts that are common in the sector.

Subsidy programmes such as the Contracts for Difference scheme in the UK can help underpin revenues in respect of qualifying assets.

Onshore windfarms were excluded from the scheme for some time amid concerns too many were being built. However, in March last year Boris Johnson decided to open up the scheme to onshore windfarms again.

TRIG has amassed a portfolio of 17 windfarms in Scotland helped by acquisitions. It bought a stake in the SSE-operated Beatrice windfarm off Caithness last month for an undisclosed sum. The company has interests in 74 assets across Europe, including windfarms, solar plants and battery storage facilities.

The company noted yesterday :“The greatest investment activity in TRIG’s key markets is expected from subsidised offshore wind in the North Sea and onshore wind in France, and unsubsidised onshore wind in the UK and Nordics and solar in Iberia.”

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Asked if TRIG would be interested in acquiring more Scottish windfarms, a spokesperson for the company noted: “Scotland remains a core market for TRIG ... attractive opportunities to invest, all factors considered, would be pursued by the company.”

TRIG noted that competition for offshore windfarm investment opportunities has grown citing “an increasing volume of capital looking to deploy into sustainable investment themes”.