NRE secures US$250 million for Japan PV projects



Investment groups Equis Funds and Partners Group have raised ¥26.1 billion (US$250 million) of equity to fund utility-scale solar power stations for developer Nippon Renewable Energy through a joint investment platform, Japan Solar.

Tokyo-based Nippon Renewable Energy (NRE), which announced the news, currently has a pipeline of 300MW of PV plants in Japan under development, which will be financed with Japan Solar. Each project has qualified for 20-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) under the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s (METI) feed-in tariff programme.

The pipeline includes four projects totalling 47.5MW ready for construction, along with a further 110MW of projects expected to commence this year.

Shoichi Kaneda, director of Nippon Renewable Energy, said: “Each NRE solar project involves the support of local construction contractors and Japanese utilities, creating sustainable employment in Japanese rural areas and important local community development. We are proud to be supporting the future development of Japan in an environmentally responsible manner.”

Equis Funds and Partners Group led the raising of capital investment. Equis co-investors Babson Capital, LGsuper and Qantas Superannuation also participated.

Asia-Pacific regional managing director and head of private infrastructure at Partners Group, Benjamin Haan, said: “We are excited to invest in the rapidly developing Japanese renewable energy market and to support the NRE management in filling the large power generation gap in Japan. We are confident of additional investment opportunities in the near term that will offer our clients the opportunity to further contribute to sustainable energy development in Japan.”

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