Partners Group and Equis Funds Group announced on Monday the successful closing of a US$250 million investment to develop a dedicated Japanese solar platform, Japan Solar. The investment consortium, co-led by Partners Group and Equis Funds Group on behalf of their clients and including investors such as Babson Capital, LGsuper and Qantas Superannuation, will fund the construction of utility-scale solar power plants across Japan, with the first plants expected to start generating electricity in the second half of 2014.
Japan Solar will partner with Nippon Renewable Energy KK (NRE), one of Japan's largest independent solar utility businesses. NRE is headed by an experienced Tokyo-based management team, which owns and will develop a pipeline of over 300MW of Japanese solar projects over the next two years. NRE has contracted 4 projects totalling 47.5MW which will commence construction imminently having completed financing and construction documentation. These projects are expected to be followed by projects totalling 110MW during 2014 throughout Japan.
The projects will benefit from 20-year power purchase agreements as well as from Japan's Feed-in Tariff (FIT), which is expected to provide renewable energy producers with stable cash flows and was introduced by the government to encourage investment in the sector.
Benjamin Haan, Managing Director and Head of Private Infrastructure Asia-Pacific at Partners Group, commented:
"We are excited to invest in the rapidly developing Japanese renewable energy market and to support the NRE management in filling the large power generation gap in Japan. We are confident of additional investment opportunities in the near term that will offer our clients the opportunity to further contribute to sustainable energy development in Japan, as well as benefit from attractive tariffs currently offered to renewable energy providers in the country."
David Russell, CEO and Partner at Equis Funds Group, noted:
"We are honored to have the opportunity to support one of Japan's most experienced independent solar utility teams. Being an early mover into Japanese renewable energy has resulted in a win-win-win relationship for Japanese communities, the Japanese government and investors."
Partners Group is a global private markets investment management firm with over €30 billion in investment programs under management. The firm employs over 700 people.
Equis Funds Group is one of Asia's largest independent energy and infrastructure private equity fund managers. Equis currently manages US$960 million and employs 24 professionals.