Faced with rising prices for secondary solar power projects, Bluefield Solar Income Fund (BSIF) has taken a strategic decision not to focus on growing its portfolio during the last couple of years. Instead, a focus on increasing operational efficiency, coupled with a 32.5% increase in the power price, has helped deliver a 16.2% year-on-year uplift in BSIF’s underlying earnings for the year ended 30 June 2018 (from 8.32p per share to 9.67p per share).
BSIF has an annual dividend target that, after the repayment of debt, is linked to the retail prices index, which is 7.68p for the year ending 30 June 2019 - a 6.0% yield on the current share price. BSIF offers one of the highest yields in its sector.
BSIF’s aims to pay shareholders an attractive return, principally in the form of regular income distributions, by investing in a portfolio of largescale, UK-based solar-energy infrastructure assets. BSIF is targeting long-life assets that are expected to generate stable renewable energy output over at least a 25-year life. Individual assets, or portfolios of assets, are held in special purpose vehicles (SPVs). BSIF can invest in these using both equity and debt.
Dividends are paid quarterly and, should the total dividend fall short of its RPI-linked target, the manager’s fee is subject to a clawback (a performance fee is also earned if the dividend beats the target).