The troubled 11.1MW Norrington Solar Farm is now the sole UK asset left on TerraForm Power’s books after EFG Hermes elected to acquire all other assets in the SunEdison yieldco’s portfolio.
EFG Hermes, which this morning revealed that it had acquired 365MW of TerraForm Power’s UK assets, confirmed to Solar Power Portal that the Norrington Solar Farm was not among those that it had acquired.
And in a statement to the market this afternoon TerraForm said that it would continue to own one 11MW project which it planned to divest in the future.
The project has had something of a chequered history and was once at threat of dismantling after its planning permission was retrospectively quashed.
The site was originally granted planning permission by Wiltshire Council and completed in 2014, however local resident and owner of nearby Grade II-listed building Gifford Hall Daniel Gerber challenged that permission, claiming that he was not made aware of the development prior to construction.
Gerber was initially successful in his challenge after High Court judge Justice Dove ruled that the council’s failure to adequately warn residents and consult with English Heritage represented a “clear legal error”.
But in February last year TerraForm Power was successful in appealing against the decision at the Court of Appeal after Lord Justice Sales ruled that the company had endeavoured to inform residents of the planning permission.
Despite this ruling, a cloud has continued to hang over the project. Local press reports from May last year quoted Gerber claiming that the Norrington Solar Farm was nearly 170% of the size originally permitted and that a council officer has informed him his claims were under investigation.
Question marks also remain over a £40,000 community benefit fund pledged by SunEdison at the time of the project’s development that Wiltshire Council says has still not been paid. Both SunEdison and TerraForm Power intended to wash their hands of the fund when contacted by Solar Power Portal last year.