Published: 22 Feb 2023, 12:05
Global solar investment specialist NextEnergy Capital (NEC) has confirmed the third close of the NextPower UK ESG fund at £595 million, with plans to scale its new-build solar plants across the UK.
The Fund exceeded its target of £500 million and confirmed it is working towards its hard cap of £1 billion. The third financial close comes six months after the Fund’s first close in August 2022.
The NextPower UK ESG fund, launched in December 2021, is a private 10-year solar infrastructure fund focused on investing in new-build utility scale, subsidy-free solar in the UK.
From the fund’s project pipeline, NEC has already acquired its first five utility-scale solar assets totalling 269MW, of which two are operational. The fund has deployed capital rapidly, with the first drawdown seven weeks after the first close.
“NPUK ESG continues to go from strength to strength and is actively accelerating the deployment of utility scale solar in the UK, providing additional renewable energy capacity, and increasing the UK’s energy independence,” said Michael Bonte-Friedheim, CEO and founding partner of NextEnergy Group.
“NextEnergy Capital leads the global solar sector in offering innovative access to opportunities identified by a true solar specialist. The momentum is a testament to the NEC’s deep knowledge and detailed preparation, leading to the rapid deployment of capital into our funds. We are expecting to conclude further acquisitions in the near future which will significantly increase the fund’s commitments.”
The fund is recognised as the first subsidy-free private solar investment fund in the UK, says NEC, and has an expected generation capacity of approximately 2GW of power at hard cap. It is also aiming to double the amount of subsidy-free solar power in the UK making renewable energy more accessible for all.
“NPUK ESG is classified as an article 9 Fund under the EU SFDRs, and at its hard cap, will produce enough clean energy to power the equivalent of nearly 500,000 households or offset nearly 200,000 carbon-emitting cars on the road each year,” said Shane Swords, NextEnergy Capital managing director and head of investor relations.