Calvin Capital (Calvin) has reached financial close on a funding arrangement to support SSE Energy Supply (SSE) & Southern Electric Gas with its foundation stage smart metering programme.
SSE has already commenced its roll-out as part of the Government’s plans to ensure that smart meters are installed in every British home and business by 2020. To date it has installed over 220,000 smart meters. The funding partnership will see Calvin purchase these meters as well as funding SSE’s further installations through to the end of the year.
The roll-out of smart meters represents a significant upgrade to the energy infrastructure of Great Britain. SSE will be rolling out more than 7 million smart meters by the end of 2020, employing almost 2,000 skilled installers at peak. With the Data Communications Company (DCC) set for “go-live” by the end of October, the funding will help SSE complete its foundation stage and continue its ramp-up towards mass deployment, with hundreds of thousands more meters to be installed this year.
Sara-Jane Asquith, Director of Metering and Smart Transformation at SSE, said: “At SSE our approach to the smart meter roll-out has always been to do it once and do it right, with a focus on maximising the net benefits for customers. That has meant starting slowly and seeking to learn lessons from the foundation stage, doing all we can to control costs and to drive customer engagement. This partnership with Calvin comes at a critical time and is another important step on our journey to delivering the benefits of smart for our customers.”
Calvin is being supported by its shareholder, Infracapital, and backed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and two commercial lenders, Santander and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. This is the second loan provided to Calvin by the EIB in recent months and the first tranche of funding to be used from the Framework facility approved by the EIB on 19 May 2016.
“SSE customers across Britain will be armed with real-time information to help them save both energy and money using smart meters installed under this new initiative. The European Investment Bank is pleased to enable increased use of smart meters through our second scheme with Calvin in seven months, which continues to demonstrate our support for crucial energy investment across the UK” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.
“We’ve seen a huge acceleration in the delivery of smart metering roll-out programmes by a number of retailers in the last few months and I’m delighted that Calvin has been chosen by SSE to provide financing and management services to help them deliver this challenging project. Calvin continues to provide innovative funding solutions to our customers and the recent Framework facility approved by the EIB has enabled us to provide SSE with a truly bespoke and cost effective funding solution” said Jim Macdonald, Chief Executive Officer of Calvin.
Calvin was advised by Hogan Lovells. The commercial lenders were advised by Allen & Overy while Linklaters acted for the EIB.