Quinbrook raises US$600 million for Valley of Fire Fund to expand solar portfolio

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The Gemini solar-plus-storage project.
The Valley of Fire Fund includes the 690MW Gemini solar-plus-storage project. Image: Nextracker

Investment manager Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners has closed funding for its Valley of Fire Fund, raising US$600 million in capital commitments from what it called “leading US and European institutional investors”.

The fund is the continuation of the company’s Low Carbon Power Fund (LCPF), which raised US$1.6 billion in 2019 to support a number of renewable projects, including the Gemini solar-plus-storage project in the US state of Nevada. The project has a solar generation capacity of 690MWac, alongside a 1.4GWh battery energy storage system (BESS).

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Blackstone Strategic Partners is the lead investors in the Valley of Fire fund, and the vehicle has now acquired 51% of the Gemini project, along with all of the remaining projects owned by the LCPF. The remaining stake in the Gemini project is owned by Dutch pension asset manager APG.

The Valley of Fire portfolio consists of seven projects, including Gemini, with over 2.65GW of solar PV capacity, and the potential to add 1.5GW of additional battery storage capacity. The projects are located in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada, and Quinbrook describes them as “between early-to-late-stage development”.

“This successful closing underscores Quinbrook’s commitment to impactful renewable energy project development and new asset creation and its track record of pursuing strategies that seek to optimise returns for investors wanting differentiated exposure to the energy transition,” said Rory Quinlan, co-founder and managing partner of Quinbrook.

The news is Quinbrook’s latest development in the space, following the work of its subsidiary, Primergy Solar, to collaborate with lithium-ion battery manufacturer CATL at the Gemini project in 2022. Primergy also signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with San Diego Community Power last month to sell power from its Purple Sage Energy Center as it expands its portfolio in the US.

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