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    Valorem
    France

    Energy

    Overview

    Valorem is a leading independent renewable energy development and operating company. It is one of the largest onshore wind developers in France, having developed over 480MW of capacity over the last 10 years.

    The French power market is experiencing a major transition as it looks to reduce its reliance on nuclear generation and to increase generation from renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar. The energy transition has been continuously supported by the French governments over the past decade. With in-house capabilities across the entire project cycle and a strong local footprint, Valorem is well positioned to benefit from this shift in energy mix.

    Recent developments

    Valorem’s asset base has continued to increase, with 663MW of fully owned capacity having reached financial close, compared to 179MW at acquisition. Despite lower than anticipated revenue from electricity generation due to low wind conditions in the year, the core business in France continues to perform in line with expectations. The successful closing of the Viiatti wind project in Finland represents a key milestone for the company. It is over four times the size of Valorem’s previous project in Finland and almost 10 times its largest project in France. Approximately half of this project was sold in the year.

    In December 2021, the Company completed a follow-on investment of £21 million in Valorem and increased its equity stake in the company to 33.1% in order to continue funding the pipeline across Valorem’s fast growing markets.

    In France, both the solar and wind pipelines are progressing well, with an increased focus on larger projects, and Valorem is trialling projects in the hydrogen sector, with two projects in Rouen and Saint-Brieux. In Finland, Valorem will focus on the construction of the Viiatti project and progress planning for the MegatuuIi wind project (313MW), expected to be financed by 2024. A first wind project in Greece is expected to close this year.

    Regulatory and political environment

    Renewables benefit from strong support from the French Government, which has an objective of a 32% renewables contribution by 2032 coupled with a carbonneutral electricity mix by 2040. In line with the need to triple the current installed PV capacity by 2023, in December 2017 the Government announced an increase of future PV auctions from 1.45GW to 2.45GW per annum over the next three years.

    Investment rationale

    This investment diversifies the Company’s portfolio with exposure to a growing renewables business in one of the most attractive European markets, and access to recurring, inflation-linked cash flows underpinned by a robust regulatory regime.

    Led by its experienced management team, Valorem is a best-in-class developer, being the fourth largest French wind developer and the largest independent one. It has a significant pipeline of projects at an advanced stage of development that it expects to convert into operating assets, with further projects at earlier stages to bring through the development process.

    Sustainability

    As a producer of renewable energy, the business is net carbon negative. Beyond its core mission as a contributor to the energy transition and GHG emissions reduction, Valorem strives to promote protecting biodiversity, sustainable procurement and employee wellbeing. This was demonstrated by Valorem becoming an Entreprise à Mission in December 2021.

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