London-based investor NextEnergy Capital has closed a US$480 million tranche of investment in its NextPower V ESG (NPV ESG) fund, which is targeting solar and battery storage.
The NPV ESG vehicle looks to procure financing for solar and energy storage assets in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, specifically across Europe, North America, and Chile.
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The fund was launched in January with targets of US$1.5 billion and 3.5GW of solar capacity, and NextEnergy has offered investors mid-double digit returns on commitments.
Of the US$480 million secured so far, NextEnergy said that US$330 million are direct commitments and US$150 million are co-investment allocations. Two pension funds, one Nordic and another German, are prominent investors in NPV, with others in the process of due diligence and expected to be confirmed in the second round later this year.
The fund said that it had identified a potential pipeline of 14GW worth of projects across its target areas.
Michael Bonte-Friedheim, CEO and founding partner of NextEnergy Group, said: “NPV ESG’s first close represents an important milestone as the fund secures strong investor support from the get-go. Utility-scale solar represents a very large investment opportunity set globally, with total spending in 2023 forecast to reach US$382bn, and we aim to continue our leadership role in the sector.
“We leverage our focus, experience and expertise in the solar infrastructure sector to secure and invest in attractive solar projects and portfolios and generate superior investor outcomes.”
The previous iteration of the funding vehicle, NPIII ESG, closed in January last year with US$900 million in final investment and a UK-focused round called NextPower UK ESG fund secured commitments 20% in excess of its £500 million (US$635 million) target.