NextEnergy Capital continues investment charge with New York community solar portfolio purchase

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Image: Helen Alfvegren/Flickr.

Solar investor NextEnergy Capital (NEC) has continued its fledgling foray into the US solar market, completing on a string of community assets across New York.

NEC said NextPower III (NPIII), its third institutional solar fund, had established a new investment platform with investment partners and experienced solar developers in the US to invest some US$100 million into a portfolio of assets comprising around 100MW of solar PV.

The portfolio, yet to be completed, is expected to be operational within 18 months and consists of multiple sites located in the state of New York.

NEC will use equity from the institutional fund to finance the acquisition, with the assets benefiting from long-term fixed revenue from the state’s Value of Distributed Energy Resources mechanism, providing additional revenue over the course of 25 years.

The deal comes just days after NEC completed on a 36.1MW project in Mexico which Aldo Beolchini, the firm’s managing partner and chief investment officer, said was testament to its execution capabilities despite a “difficult business climate”.

“Our investment activities are proving to be quite resilient vis-à-vis the COVID-19 situation and we are on track to complete our investment programme,” he said.

NPIII’s current suite of solar assets either under construction or in operation has a combined capacity of 285MWp, however the fund also has a further ten projects under exclusivity, totaling in excess of 1GWp.

Lorena Ciciriello, managing director and head of debt financing at Next, said the company was expecting to raise more than US$200 million of debt and tax equity financing for its US community solar portfolio.

That commitment comes three months after the second close of NPIII raised a further US$118 million, bolstering its coffers to some US$280 million with a pipeline of assets totaling 2.5 – 3GW in its crosshairs.

Speaking to PV Tech after that raise, NEC chief executive Michael Bonte-Frieheim explained how assets across Europe, America and India were being targeted after the investor racked up a significant portfolio in the UK.

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