US Solar Fund is buying a portfolio of 22 solar power projects and plans to raise further capital to part-fund future acquisitions.
The London-listed infrastructure investment fund focused on the Americas, said it has agreed to buy the 177MW portfolio from an affiliate of Heelstone Renewable Energy for an undisclosed sum.
The projects – located in North Carolina, Oregon, and California – commenced operations between 2016 and 2018. The projects sell their electricity output under fixed-price long-term power purchase agreements.
US Solar Fund, which raised $200m on the London Stock Exchange in April last year, said it will fund the equity purchase price for the portfolio acquisition with available cash.
The latest deal, together with the three previously announced transactions, represents a total commitment of approximately 70% of the net initial public offering (IPO) proceeds, it said.
US Solar Fund said it intends to use the remaining 30% of the net IPO proceeds to refinance the existing project-level debt with a new, smaller debt facility on more attractive terms.
Following the refinancing, US Solar Fund will be fully committed and substantially invested, it said.
The company said it may also consider raising additional equity capital for the refinancing, to further enhance returns and for further acquisitions from its strong pipeline of investment opportunities.
Gillian Nott, chairman of US Solar Fund, said: “This portfolio of operating assets is complementary to US Solar Fund’s prior acquisitions and creates a diversified mix of operating, cash-flowing projects and in-construction assets.
“The portfolio will bring US Solar Fund’s total utility-scale solar asset count to 37 sites, totalling more than 380MWDC of generating capacity.”
Liam Thomas, CIO of US Solar Fund’s investment manager New Energy Solar Manager, said: “We continue to see attractive opportunities in the US market.
”As demand for utility-scale solar grows, alongside ongoing decarbonisation of the electricity sector, we look forward to growing USF to be a solar investor of significant scale.”