NextPower UK ESG (NPUK ESG), a solar infrastructure fund backed by the UK government’s new national infrastructure bank, has now raised £595m (€675m) from investors including Border to Coast Pensions Partnership.

NPUK ESG’s manager NextEnergy Capital said the amount raised at the fund’s third close exceeded its target of £500m. The fund, which had its first and second closes in August and December 2022 respectively, targets a hard cap of £1bn.

The manager said the fund’s latest close was backed by a number of investors including UK public pension pool Border to Coast and an existing institutional investor topping up their allocation.

NextEnergy said the UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) also backed the fund and has now fully committed £250m to the 10-year closed-ended private fund focused on unsubsidised new-build solar plants in the UK.

As previously reported, UKIB planned to invest up to £250m in NPUK ESG by providing financing to the initial seed assets of the fund comprising two solar farms in Llanwern in South Wales and Strensham, Worcestershire.

UK local government pension schemes, including LGPS Central, Merseyside Pension Fund and Brunel Pension Partnership also contributed to NPUK ESG’s previous closes.

Michael Bonte-Friedheim, CEO and founding partner of NextEnergy Group, said: “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.”

Shane Swords, NextEnergy Capital managing director and head of Investor Relations, said: “We are delighted to have exceeded the fund target for NPUK ESG at third close, driven by the strong momentum behind the Fund having achieved its first close only six months ago. This close represents another fantastic milestone for NextEnergy Capital as well as the solar sector in quick succession.”

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