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Investment manager Downing exits sixth hydro project

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Investment manager Downing has exited a series of hydroelectricity investments based in Scotland and managed by Gilkes Energy Limited.

Downing’s Energy and Infrastructure Investment team has worked closely with Gilkes Energy, a specialist hydroelectricity developer, since September 2013, to invest in a series of seven projects.  The investment funded the development, construction and operation of the projects which total 8MWp of renewable energy generation in Scotland.
 
Downing has undertaken a successful programme of disposals to return capital to Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) investors in the projects, of which this divestment forms part.  All six investments have been acquired by GHI Holdings Limited – a company which owns and operates a portfolio of operational hydro projects. Gilkes Energy will continue to operate all six projects.
Downing EIS investors hold equity in one other operational hydroelectricity project and it is anticipated that the company will be sold towards the end of 2019.
 
The hydroelectric project is located in Argyll, Scotland. Each of the hydro sites are ‘run-of-the-river’ hydroelectricity projects which use the natural flow of water in a river to drive a turbine rather than storing water in a large dam or reservoir. Together, the seven hydro stations have capacity to generate up to 8MW of renewable energy.
 
Tom Williams, Head of Energy and Infrastructure at Downing, says: “We’re very pleased to have completed a further exit from our hydroelectric investments alongside Gilkes Energy, who we will continue to support going forward. These investments have performed very well and have provided excellent returns for our investors. 
 
“The energy sector is a key focus for Downing and we are proud of the contribution these particular projects make in supporting renewable energy in the UK and the fight against climate change. Downing works hard to provide management teams with capital to develop projects which, in turn, deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns to our investors and it’s great to see this being realised through our work with Gilkes Energy and GHI Holdings.”

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