NextEnergy Capital has set up a platform to invest up to $100m (€92.7m) of its third solar fund’s equity in US community solar projects.

Investing on behalf of the NextPower III fund, NextEnergy said the newly created platform – established with solar developers and investment partners – has acquired the first 100MWp portfolio of projects in New York, expected to be fully constructed and operational within 18 months.

The manager said additional portfolios have already been identified to enable deployment of further capital in community solar assets across various states in the US.

Aldo Beolchini, NextEnergy Capital managing partner and CIO, said: “This is the second transaction we executed in a short time following the 36.1MW project in Mexico announced on 30 March, 2020, testifying our international execution capabilities, especially in the current difficult business climate.

“Our investment activities are proving to be quite resilient vis-à-vis the COVID-19 situation and we are on track to complete our investment programme. The NextPower III team is currently executing acquisitions from our pipeline of projects under exclusivity for over 1GWp”

Lorena Ciciriello, NextEnergy Capital MD, head of debt financing, said: “We are particularly excited by this first step in the growing US community solar market. It further consolidates our presence in the US, a solar market of high strategic importance for NextEnergy.

“Through this investment platform we are expecting to raise in excess of $200m of debt and tax equity financing for our US community solar portfolio, extending our current relationships with providers of financing and creating synergies for future transactions.”

NextPower III targets solar power plants at the ready-to-build status or in operation across high-growth international markets. The investment team is currently focusing its efforts to increase the portfolios in the US, Latin America, Southern Europe and India.