NextEnergy Capital’s third solar infrastructure fund has entered the European market with the acquisition of a project in Portugal.

The manager said the NextPower III (NPIII), a fund focused on funding the construction and long-term ownership of new-build solar power plants across international markets, is also in talks to make further deals in Iberia by the end of the year.

The NPIII fund has acquired a 17.4MWp solar project from developers Azimuth Molecule and Cardinal Flexivel for an undisclosed amount.

The plant benefits from a 10-year power purchase agreement and planning to start construction in the fourth quarter of the year and commissioning in the third quarter of 2021, the manager said.

Filinto Martins, managing director and head of NextPower III, said: “This acquisition allows NextPower III to further increase its presence globally and enter the European market in a country with high growth potential.

“NextPowerIII is already at an advanced stage of negotiations to execute further opportunities in Iberia by the end of the year. We see Iberia as a key geography for the fund and we have a defined growth strategy for Iberia”

Aldo Beolchini, managing partner and CIO, said: “Portugal and many other countries worldwide are stepping up their commitments to increase clean energy generation. Whether it is for reducing their carbon emissions, start-up the green hydrogen economy or to promote a green recovery from COVID pandemic, we are proud to be contributing to this global effort whilst opening new markets for NextEnergy.

“We are on track to build a target portfolio for our private fund NextPower III of around 2.5GW installed solar capacity internationally.”

NPIII, which seeks to raise $750m, had a $280m second close in January as it announced receiving additional capital from a pool of institutional investors including UK charity fund manager CCLA, Elo Mutual Pension Insurance Company and a Swedish institutional investor. The fund had a first close in November 2018.

NPIII targets solar power plants at the ready-to-build status or in operations across high-growth OECD international markets.

It is currently focusing its efforts to increase the portfolios in its carefully selected geographies including the US, Latin America and Europe, the manager said.

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