NextEnergy Capital makes maiden India solar purchase

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Solar investor and asset owner NextEnergy Capital (NEC) has completed its first project acquisition in India as it lines up a flurry of investments in Q3 2020.

NEC has struck a deal to acquire a 27.4MWp project from German project developer and EBC IBC Solar. The project has been in operation since May 2018 and is backed via a 25-year power purchase agreement with an investment-grade offtaker, the fund said.

The company made the acquisition out of its NextPower III fund, the third such institutional solar fund NextEnergy Capital has launched. Its remit is to invest in projects throughout the world, and today’s purchase marks the start of a planned run of new project acquisitions it hopes to complete in the coming months.

NextPower III’s current capacity stands at around 385MW of projects either in operation or under construction, but an additional eight projects with a combined capacity of around 800MWp currently reside in the fund’s exclusive pipeline.

Those projects are located in India, the US, Latin America and Southern Europe, with NEC aiming to announce further acquisitions later this quarter.

Filinto Martins, managing director and head of NextPower III, said today’s deal would allow it to enter the Asia Pacific solar market, while the firm’s chief investment officer and managing partner Aldo Beolchini lauded the NEC team’s ability to close the transaction in a “difficult business climate” exacerbated by COVID-19.

“We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and are very pleased at how robust and resilient our NextPower III fund has been in this environment. We are on track to build a target portfolio for NextPower III of around 2.5GW installed solar capacity across carefully selected geographies,” he said.

SunSource bags SECI co-location tender

In other news from India today, Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) confirmed developer SunSource Energy to have won a tender to develop a solar-plus-storage project on the Lakshadweep islands off the country’s south west coast.

SECI launched the tender process in September of last year, and SunSource have won out with the lowest bid of INR23.5 crore (US$3.15 million).

SunSource will now develop 1.95MWac of solar alongside 2.15MWh of battery energy storage capacity, split across four islands in the Lakshadweep territory, namely Agatti, Kavaratti, BangaRam and Thinnakara.

The project is expected to significantly reduce the islands’ reliance on diesel-fuelled generators, which SunSource CEO Adarsh Das described as an “instance of the direction in which the power sector is headed”.

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