NextEnergy Capital’s international solar fund hits US$280m

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Source: Flickr Zak Zak

A fresh round of funding has bumped total investment in NextEnergy Capital's global solar fund, Next Power III (NPIII), to US$280 million.

Commitments of about US$118 million were secured from a number of institutional investors – including Finland’s ELO Mutual Pension Insurance Company, the UK’s CCLA and an unnamed Swedish institutional investor – in the fund's second round.

The British solar investment firm told PV Tech in an email that it expects the ESG infrastructure fund to reach its US$750 million target before the year's end.

NPIII currently targets construction and ownership of new-build solar plants in OECD countries but intends to consider other “high-growth markets should attractive opportunities emerge,” according to a company statement.

The overall plan is for the fund's portfolio to eventually comprise between 2.5-3GWp of operating solar projects.

NextEnergy expects a 13-15% gross rate of return on projects and said it intends to own solar facilities “over the long-term.”

Since the NPIII’s first close in November 2018, three US solar plants with a total installed capacity of 150MWp have been acquired. Two are under construction while the most recent addition, a 102.5MWp plant in North Carolina, was operational at the time of purchase.

NextEnergy said it is currently pursuing an investment portfolio of about 3.9GWp through the fund, including transactions under exclusivity. Its total portfolio will comprise “over 600MWp” of capacity during the first quarter of this year, once acquisitions in Mexico, India and the US are finalised.

NPIII is one of three investment vehicles managed by NextEnergy Capital. NPII is a private fund that invests in primarily on operating solar plants in Italy. The Next Energy Solar Fund is a listed investment company that invests mainly in solar in the UK.

The prospects and challenges of solar's new era in Europe and beyond will take centre stage at Solar Media's Solar Finance & Investment Europe (London, 5-6 February).

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