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Climate Change Capital Shelves Plans to Buy SSE Wind Farm Share

Climate Change Capital Ltd., the London-based environmental investor and advisory group, postponed fundraising to buy a wind-farm stake owned by Scottish & Southern Energy Plc, citing the financial climate.

Climate Change Capital tabled the fundraising due to difficult market conditions, Daniel Cremin, a marketing communications manager at the company, said today in an e-mail. He declined to give details.

SSE, the U.K.’s second-largest power producer, agreed to sell its 50 percent share in the 72-megawatt Braes of Doune wind farm near Stirling in Scotland to Climate Change Capital in June for 61.3 million pounds ($98.9 million). SSE, based in Perth, said today in a separate statement that the sale of the 36-megawatt share in question wouldn’t go ahead.

The decision was not related to the wider industry, which is an excellent investment area, Cremin said. “We will continue to explore opportunities to support the development of the wind industry, which we see as a rapidly growing sector, vital for the U.K.’s future economic success and security of energy supply,” he said.

“It’s quite strange,” Ronan O’Regan, the London-based director of energy and renewables at consultant PWC, said in an interview by telephone. “Somebody’s got a bit of egg on their collar.”

“When the original deal was announced you would have thought Climate Change Capital would have had their funding in place,” he said. “I assume what’s happened is some of their backers must have had a change of heart and decided to pull out of the project.” CCC declined to comment on his remarks.

The project financing market for operational wind assets remains active, O’Regan said.

Continuing Discussions

The Braes of Doune investment was part of a new fundraising and not an investment by the 200 million-euro ($284 million) fund that Climate Change Capital manages, the Climate Change Capital Private Equity fund, according to Cremin.

“We continue to look to sell Braes of Doune and there are interested parties that we will continue to be in discussions with,” Justyn Smith, a spokesman at SSE, said today by phone. SSE sold three wind farms to Infinis Plc, a renewable energy company owned by Guy Hands, in April.

The Climate Change Capital Private Equity fund the company manages said on July 12 it led an 8 million-euro investment in the French industrial wastewater-treatment company Orege SA.

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