NTR sells off second US solar asset

NTR has sold a second solar energy asset in California in almost as many weeks, as part of a continued bid to strengthen its cash reserves.

The Dublin-headquartered renewable energy group yesterday announced — via its US solar business, Tessera Solar — the disposal of its 709 megawatt Imperial Valley Solar Project to a joint venture between US firms AES Corporation and Riverstone Holdings.

Only a few weeks ago, Tessera Solar sold its 750-megawatt Calico project, also based in southern California, to San Diego-based company K Road Power Holdings.

No further transaction details, including the value of the deal, were disclosed by NTR, for what it called “commercial reasons“, but group chief executive Jim Barry said that NTR’s board is confident the value created in this project “will be enhanced for NTR shareholders over time“.

Mr Barry said he was “very pleased” that the Imperial Valley project will be brought to the next phase of development by AES Solar, which develops, finances, constructs, owns and operates utility-scale solar power plants around the world.

The project is being powered using patented SunCatcher technology, owned by NTR’s solar manufacturing company, Stirling Energy Systems (SES) — which is looking for a strategic investor, with manufacturing capabilities — to support the commercial deployment of the technology.

NTR recently committed itself to what it called “a significant liquidity event” within the coming three years, which could see the former toll roads operator seeking a mainstream public listing.

Other options for strengthening the group’s cash reserves include a distribution of surplus cash, the sale of individual assets and the partial or full flotation of the ‘grey-market’ quoted business.

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