US Solar Fund launches fundraise to increase size of PV portfolio

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London-based US Solar Fund has launched a placing programme that will be conducted over the next 12 months to help expand its PV portfolio to 543MWdc.

The company expects proceeds will be mainly used to fund two transactions. Around US$22 million has been earmarked to acquire a further 25% stake in Mount Signal 2, a 200MWdc operating solar plant located in the Imperial Valley of Southern California, bringing its total ownership of the asset to 50%. Meanwhile approximately US$82.5 million has been earmarked for the refinancing of the 177MWdc Heelstone Portfolio, which consists of 22 solar projects in Oregon, California and North Carolina.

Since raising US$200 million in an April 2019 initial public offering, the company has closed six transactions – including a deal for a 128MW solar plant in Utah and a 39MW portfolio of projects in North Carolina – comprising some 42 assets with a total capacity of 493MWdc.

US Solar Fund acquires, constructs, owns and operates solar projects that are expected to have an asset life of at least 30 years and generate stable cashflows by selling electricity to offtakers under long-term power purchase agreements.

With the US “on a clear path” to a carbon-free transition, there is an “urgent need” to develop more utility-scale solar plants, said US Solar Fund chair Gill Nott. “The US remains one of the world’s most attractive investment markets for solar power production, with well-established policy frameworks and long-term power purchase agreements.”

The company’s placing programme includes an initial placing, offer for subscription and intermediaries offer of new ordinary shares. Cenkos Securities and Jefferies International are acting as joint global co-ordinators and joint bookrunners for the initial issue and the placing programme, while Cenkos is the sole sponsor.

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