London biomass company takes over 50% of shares in Highlands renewable energy firm

Bruno Berardelli
Bruno Berardelli

FTSE-listed Aggregated Micro Power Holdings plc paid £500,000 to acquire a majority holding in the shares of Highlands-based HW Energy, which will continue to operate as a stand-alone business from Fort William.

Richard Burrell, Chief Executive of Mayfair-based AMP will take a new seat on the board of HW Energy.

Set up in 2003, HW Energy currently has a staff of 45 people and has installed more than 300 commercial-sized biomass installations to date in locations ranging Shetland to Bradford, ranging from small district heating schemes to large hospitals. It has a team of locally based engineers across Scotland and England.

Aggregated Micro Power Holdings specialises in the sale of wood fuels through their Forest Fuels business, and in the financing, development and installation of energy projects including biomass boiler Energy Supply Contracts and standby power generation and battery storage facilities.

Forest Fuels is one of the leading wood fuels businesses south of the Border, with annual sales of over 100,000 tonnes of wood fuel to 2,300 customers from a network of more than 40 depots.

AMP reported pre-tax profits of £930,000 to the end of March 2017, compared to a loss of £7.6m in the preceding period.

AMP has over £66 million of energy assets under management and also has access to considerable funding for new ESCOs via Aggregated Micro Power Infrastructure 2 plc (“MPIL) which has just raised £29.5 million for new ESCOs. 

Companies interested in installing a biomass heating system but unable to raise the capital investment necessary can benefit from a fully financed ESCo (Energy Services Company) solution.

Under this model the biomass boiler and associated equipment remains the property of the financier who retains the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments and take responsibility for the system’s ongoing service and operation.

Meanwhile, the customer receives the cost savings and environmental benefits against other fuels and pays an agreed amount for heat per kWh, billed on a monthly basis.

The AMP deal means that HW Energy will be able to grow the breadth and depth of their offering to new customers, as well as increase their geographical spread, while remaining as an independent business. 

Bruno Berardelli, Managing Director, HW Energy, said: “We believe that this provides an extremely exciting range of opportunities for our clients, our company and all of our stakeholders.

“AMP’s vision for the development of decentralised energy provision is one which we believe will benefit the economy of the country as a whole, help reduce carbon emissions from energy production and provide numerous benefits to our clients.

“Forest Fuels are the ideal partner for us to work with in England and Wales.”

Richard Burrell, Chief Executive of AMP, said: “HW Energy’s experience and reputation in the biomass sector will lead to immediate synergies with our own businesses.

“Our partnership will mean that HW Energy will be able to offer new ESCo and commercial boiler buy back products to clients in Scotland, and that they will be able to work with Forest Fuels to expand our Service and Heat business in England and Wales.”

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