The fund will serve as a vehicle through which long-term investments can be made in PV projects. Companies affiliated with the group currently plan to sell 72.7 MW of solar capacity across 13 locations to CSIF, to create the fund’s initial portfolio of PV assets, according to an online statement.
Canadian Solar Projects K.K., a wholly owned unit of Canadian Solar, will be the sole sponsor of the CSIF. Canadian Solar Asset Management K.K., a wholly owned unit of Canadian Solar Projects, will manage those assets on behalf of CSIF. Canadian Solar O&M Japan K.K., meanwhile, will provide O&M services for PV projects held by CSIF.
The TSE set up its infrastructure fund market two years ago to list funds that invest in infrastructure projects such as solar arrays. It modelled the new market on the J-REIT market that it established back in 2001. Property developer Takara Leben listed the country’s first infrastructure fund last year in an offering valued at JPY 8.7 billion ($77.5 million), giving investors the chance to invest in an aggregated portfolio of its PV assets. Ichigo Green Infrastructure Fund Investment followed by listing a similarly PV-focused fund in Tokyo last December.
Canadian Solar entered the Japanese market in 2009. It has been particularly active in the country this year, especially with regard to the raising of funds. In March, it secured a JPY 4 billion credit facility with Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing. And in April, it finalized a JPY 5.4 billion inaugural dual-tenor green project bond with Goldman Sachs Japan for a 19 MW solar project it is building in Gunma prefecture.
The company has also completed a number of PV projects in Japan this year, particularly in recent months. In July, it connected 52.5 MW of solar capacity to the Japanese grid at four sites. And in August, it started running a 27.3 MW PV array in Tottori prefecture.