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RA gives go-ahead to change of ownership for Finger solar farm

The solar farm at the Finger by the airport, developed by Saturn Solar Bermuda 1 (Photograph supplied)

Approval has been given to change control at the Finger solar farm beside the airport.

The Regulatory Authority said that its consent to the transfer will mean that FB Solar LLC — owned by the Bermuda Infrastructure Fund — will become the “indirect parent” of Saturn Solar Bermuda 1.

SSB1 was issued a bulk-generation licence for the six-megawatt plant on a disused runway at the airport in April 2020, according to documents on the RA website.

A spokeswoman for the RA said that in line with the Electricity Act 2016 and “upon the consent” of Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, the regulator approved the change of control of SSB1 to FB Solar LLC.

She added: “The transaction, namely the transfer of shares from Saturn Power International for Saturn Solar Bermuda Holding Ltd, and its wholly owned subsidiary, Saturn Solar Bermuda 1 Ltd, to FB Solar LLC, will result in FB Solar LLC becoming the sole shareholder of Holding and therefore the indirect parent of Saturn.”

An application published on the RA website said that Ontario-based Saturn Power International, the company behind the development, “entered into a sale and purchase agreement dated 13 September 2021 … with FB Solar LLC, a Bermuda exempted limited liability company”.

The application added: “One of the conditions to the transfer under the sale and purchase agreement is that the company receives the consent of the authority to the change of control of the licensee.”

It explained that the new parent company, FB Solar LLC, was wholly owned by Fortress Bermuda Holdings, "which, in turn, is wholly owned by Fortress Bermuda Infrastructure Partners (A) LP (known as ‘The Bermuda Infrastructure Fund’), a limited partnership investment fund that was established to invest in Bermuda-based infrastructure projects and which is known to the Bermuda Government, which is an investor therein“.

An order dated June 2, 2022 said that the RA was required under law to "determine whether to consent to the transfer of a licence as if the transferee were an applicant for the licence“.

It added that the RA "accordingly … treated the proposed transfer as a fresh application for a bulk-generation licence“.

Members of the public were invited in January to comment on the proposed change.

The order said: “Following this invitation, the RA considered all comments and analysed the proposed transaction and all supporting information.

“The RA noted that FB Solar LLC is highly liquid, which is a stable indication that it will be able to meet its day-to-day operations as well as its short-term liabilities.

“Additionally, the proposed transfer is not expected to impact the commercial operations of Saturn Solar Bermuda Holdings Ltd.

“Accordingly, and pursuant to Section 30 of the Electricity Act 2016, the RA hereby consents to the proposed transaction.”

Curtis Dickinson, then the finance minister, said in June 2021 that the infrastructure fund, set up by members of the business sector, had signed a letter of intent to acquire the project for $9.1 million.

He added that Saturn Power struck a deal with Belco to sell the electricity produced at the site to the power company for 20 years.

BAC Universal Electric, the company responsible for repairs and maintenance, said earlier that it was expected to continue running everyday operations if or when there was a change in ownership, “as contractually obligated”.

* To see the order made by the regulatory Authority, click on the PDF under “Related Media”.

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Published June 03, 2022 at 7:49 am (Updated June 03, 2022 at 7:30 am)

RA gives go-ahead to change of ownership for Finger solar farm

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