Blyth and Bilbao link to close equity gap

A Northumberland firm has teamed up with a Spanish power group in an initial £50m drive to fund innovative newcomers in the renewable energy sector

Soccer Factory managing director Dan Lewis
Soccer Factory managing director Dan Lewis

A Northumberland firm has teamed up with a Spanish power group in an initial £50m drive to fund innovative newcomers in the renewable energy sector.

Narec Capital, of Blyth, has joined forces with Iberdrola, of Bilbao, to back UK pioneers, providing investment and industrial leadership for promising clean technology firms.

The firms will have backing in the form of fund management and administration services from Frontier IP, an Edinburgh firm specialising in commercialising intellectual property.

Narec Capital said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Iberdrola and Frontier IP, setting out how they will boost fledgling firms, launching its Accelerated Renewable Deployment Portfolio (ARDP) with a target fund of up to �50m, intended to accelerate deployment time and reduce the cost of energy for renewable projects.

Fundraising for the ARDP is under way and both parties are already assessing and refining a joint deal pipeline.

Established in 2011, Narec Capital is the UK’s renewable energy accelerator – a joint venture between Narec (The National Renewable Energy Centre) and Ashberg Ltd, a financial services entity, which works closely with the government to help fund renewable energy projects.

Iberdola, meanwhile, is Spain’s leading energy group, which invests in innovative energy technologies and businesses through its corporate venture capital programme Perseo.

Jerry Biggs, chief executive of Narec Capital, said: “There is not only an acute equity gap being experienced by technology companies within this sector, but also an obvious adoption gap by the industrial partners who are able to take the technologies through to full operational deployment.

“The collaboration between our new ARDP fund and Iberdrola Perseo will help to ensure that technologies are selected that have direct application for industry.

By applying Narec Capital’s rigorous due diligence and commercialisation process alongside Iberdrola’s industrial pull through capability, we can help to mitigate risk of failure, address the funding and adoption gap and increase investment returns.” Agust�n Delgado, director of innovation, environment and quality at Iberdrola, said: “This new partnership will bring us the opportunity to collaborate with two organisations that are a reference in technology development for the renewable sector in the UK.

“For Iberdrola, this is an excellent tool to continue supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem that is key for addressing the future challenges of the energy sector.”

Neil Crabb, chief executive of Frontier IP, said: “This is an exciting partnership and brings together a range of expertise to focus on finding and investing in companies with new technologies in the energy sector.

“In particular we are interested in renewable electrical energy generation technologies as well as technologies that reduce the environmental impact of existing generation systems.

“Through our knowledge of the renewable energy sector and experience in raising and managing funds, we hope to play an important part in the success of this new collaboration.”

By applying Narec Capital’s rigorous due diligence and Iberdrola’s industrial pull we can mitigate risk of failure

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