It has always been said that for solar power to break into the biggest of the big leagues it is going to need “institutional money”, meaning investment capital from the largest pools of global money, such as pension funds. Common estimates suggest there is more than $100 trillion globally that is looking for investments, and solar could change the world with $1-2 trillion per year of it.
And solar is starting to attract that institutional money.
Capital Dynamics‘ Clean Energy Infrastructure team has announced the final close of its Clean Energy and Infrastructure VII JV LLC fund. The fund will be focused on purchasing utility-scale renewable energy projects in the United States, with capital commitments of $1.2 billion.
The group manages $4.8 billion in its clean energy infrastructure fund, and is now the second largest owner of solar projects in the United States. The prior fund, CEI VII, deployed $1.2 billion to secure over 1.5 GW of solar power projects. In all of its portfolios, the Clean Energy Infrastructure team manages 2.3 GW of solar power – including five of the 15 largest solar farms in the United States.
The company’s website notes the Clean Energy team now controls 3.1 GW of renewable energy, representing 28 projects in solar, wind, landfill gas, natural gas-fired generation and biomass.
The primary equity participants in the new portfolio are Dutch asset manager APG, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (“CalSTRS”) and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (“ADIA”).
Now that solar power plants are gaining high ratings from the bond agencies, with Dividend Financial getting the industry’s first AA rating and solar assets included in AAA-rated portfolios, this trend is expected to continue.