NextEnergy Capital has so far raised £653m for its NextPower UK ESG (NPUK) solar fund, with London LGPS CIV committing additional capital to help the fund exceed its target of £500m by 30%.

Other investors in the fund include LGPS Central, Border to Coast Pensions Partnership, Merseyside Pension Fund, Brunel Pension Partnership, Strathclyde Pension Fund, plus investors from the Middle East and Japan.

The UK Infrastructure Bank provided cornerstone match-funding capital of £250m and the LGPS investors have helped NPUK to access solar PV projects in their local jurisdictions as well as pursuing levelling-up agendas.

Operational and construction assets in the NPUK portfolio now stand at more than 75% of the fund’s total capacity. NextPower said its UK ESG fund “remains on track to outperform its return, with dividends to date being significantly above the target”.

The manager added that once the fund is fully deployed it will have approximately 2GW of capacity.

NPUK ESG is a private UK solar fund that focuses on acquiring utility-scale solar and battery storage assets at the ready-to-build stage, constructing them through to energisation. Once the assets are operational, NextEnergy said that NPUK monetises the power generated through a fully contracted strategy enabling “a high degree of predictability and visibility on the fund’s cash yield”.

Michael Bonte-Friedheim, NextEnergy Group CEO and founder, said: “I am proud that NPUK has total funds committed to date of over circa £653m, which is 30% above the target of £500m. This is a testament to NextEnergy Capital’s leadership in the solar energy sector at a critical time.

“As a private new-build solar strategy that focuses on acquiring utility-scale solar assets at the ready-to-build stage in the UK, NPUK investors benefit from the market leading expertise we bring alongside our hands-on approach to value creation and asset optimisation.”

Shane Swords, managing director and head of investor relations at NextEnergy Capital, said: “NPUK continues to demonstrate solid progress in addition to already distributing strong dividends to its investors.

“NPUK’s success is underpinned by its large pipeline and swift capital deployment, which commenced just seven weeks after the fund’s first close, with the fund now having nearly 500MW. The fund’s strategy has aligned really well with that of the LGPS community and it’s great to see so many LGPS investors backing renewable energy assets here in the UK.”

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