NextEnergy Capital, a global solar specialist, has completed the first purchase for its fifth investment vehicle, NextPower V ESG, its OECD-focused solar strategy following the fund’s $480m first close in July.

The maiden asset is a 100MW utility-scale solar project in Highlands County, Florida. It is fully developed and ready to build with construction planned to commence in the first quarter of 2024 and energisation expected in the first half of 2025.

The project will incorporate some of the latest advancements in solar technology, including bifacial solar modules, which will increase the project’s generation efficiency and density, and single-axis trackers allowing the project to maximise irradiation exposure by tracking the sun.

NextEnergy said it has a number of other projects in exclusivity from its 18GW pipeline and expects to announce further investments by NPV ESG “shortly”. NPV ESG’s pipeline of acquisition opportunities includes a total of over 1GW of assets currently under negotiation or in exclusivity across Spain, Italy, Poland and the US.

Michael Bonte-Friedheim, CEO and founding partner of NextEnergy Group, said: “We are very pleased to announce NextPower V ESG’s first acquisition. This marks a fantastic start to the fund, just six months after the first close, and is a real testament to the team and their hard work in progressing our attractive pipeline. Given our market presence and experience in the US and NPV ESG’s other target geographies, we expect to continue deploying the fund’s capital rapidly.

“This milestone not only signifies the success of our efforts but also presents a promising upside for our investors. Utility-scale solar represents a very large investment opportunity set globally, and we aim to continue our leadership role in the sector. Coupled with a robust investment pipeline, this transaction exemplifies the team’s ability to execute the strategy and provide investors with excellent results.

“In parallel to progress in capital deployment, we are seeing increases in investor interest in NPV ESG. I see this emanating from our track record as a leader in solar and also from the attractive investment opportunities in solar infrastructure across OECD markets.”

Antonio Salvati, head of NextPower V, added: “This acquisition provides a great foundation for NextPower V ESG and marks a strong first transaction for the team and the fund. I am pleased to announce this first deployment of capital to our investors, and we are excited to have taken the first step towards building out the fund’s global portfolio, significantly contributing to the global energy transition.”

Once fully invested, NPV ESG is forecast to generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of up to 750,000 households per year.

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