NextEnergy forms new renewables development unit with 5GW pipeline

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The division will look to work alongside local solar developers in new markets. Image: NextEnergy Capital.

Solar investor and asset manager NextEnergy Group has launched a new renewables development division that will aim to develop 5GW of projects within three years.

Called Starlight, the unit has been formed to “consolidate and rapidly expand” NextEnergy’s renewables development presence, said the UK-headquartered company, which has to date developed more than 2GW of utility-scale solar plants.

Established with a team of more than 30 professionals, Starlight will initially develop early-stage solar PV projects, with a focus on markets where NextEnergy already has experience.  

It has been set up with around 2.2GW of under-development and operational solar assets in Italy and the UK. An additional 1.3GW pipeline has recently been added in Greece, while more projects are being assessed in the US, Poland, Spain, Chile and India.

“Starlight has instantly benefitted from the existing team’s deep knowledge in the solar sector and is seeking to grow its team further as well as to work in partnership with local developers,” said Gianluca Boccanera, managing director at Starlight.

Beyond solar, the division also plans to expand into energy storage, wind and green hydrogen projects.

Alongside the new development division, NextEnergy Group operates via two other business units: investment manager NextEnergy Capital (NEC) and solar asset manager WiseEnergy.

NEC recently raised almost US$900 million for its NextPower III ESG fund, which is aiming to invest in 2.5GW of installed solar assets in markets such as the US, Portugal, Spain, Chile, and Poland.

That deal came two months after NEC secured the backing of the UK Infrastructure Bank for its NextPower UK ESG fund, which will have a generation capacity of around 1GW of solar power from across 30 UK plants when fully operational.

Also in the UK, NEC has this year signed a virtual power purchase agreement (PPA) with Goldman Sachs and another PPA with law firm DLA Piper.

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