In the UK RBS has taken first position in the Infrastructure Journal’s league table of UK renewables project finance for the second year running, lending or arranging finance worth more than USD258.33m for green deals.
During 2012, RBS built on its 20 plus years of renewable experience including on and offshore wind, solar and biomass projects. The bank was one of four commercial lenders to the Walney offshore wind farm, located 14km off the coast of Cumbria and expected to provide power sufficient to meet the needs of round 340,000 homes. Based on current energy generation figures, it will abate 480,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.
Andrew Buglass, MD, Head of Energy, Structured Finance, Corporate & Institutional Banking, said: "The depth of knowledge and experience within our Structured Finance Energy team allows us to add real value in structuring and delivering funding for projects which are integral to the UK meeting its ambitious targets to reduce carbon intensity."
US Renewable Power League Table
RBS has also scored third place in the US Renewable Power League Table for 2012 (Source: Dealogic), following seven deals in which RBS expertise helped raise USD2.8billion in funding for major green US energy projects.
These included a pioneering USD1.2billion deal to part-finance the USD2.4billion Topaz Solar Farm, a 550 megawatt solar project located in Southern California. Topaz is owned by RBS franchise client Mid-American Holdings, a subsidiary of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. It will be among the largest solar farms in the world when completed, creating 400 jobs and boosting the local economy by around USD400million. The Topaz Solar Farm won RBS the Environmental Finance Solar Deal of the Year 2012.
Matt Wade, Power and Infrastructure Director, said: “Last year we saw a number of large financing deals come to fruition. These deals really add value in terms of the wide range of jobs in construction, technology, and other areas created by projects such as Topaz.
“One of the big selling points for these deals, as well as helping to displace carbon emissions through clean fuels, is the effect they have on their local economies. Not only do they create jobs but also produce tax revenues that are often channelled back into local schools and services. As such, these projects are well received and have the support of local communities.”
Other green projects funded through RBS deals include the construction of the two latest phases of Terra-Gen Power’s three gigawatt Alta Wind centre in Tehachapi, California. When finished, the Alta Wind site will be among the world’s largest wind farms and the bank expects to be involved in its further expansion this year.
These results add to RBS’ credentials achieved in 2012 including being the top UK bank in the Bloomberg Corporate Renewable Energy Index (CREX) in 2012. RBS was also the top UK bank in the 2012 Newsweek Green Rankings. In addition it retained a place in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which denotes the top 10% of listed companies by their sustainability performance, and was included in the FTSE4Good Index.
Carbon Reduction Fund
In December 2012 RBS launched a £200m Carbon Reduction Fund in the UK, which will finance a range of sustainable energy projects including retro-fitted buildings with more energy efficient heating and lighting. The new fund is backed by the Government’s Funding for Lending scheme which enable RBS to offer reduced cost lending rates to businesses.