NextEnergy Capital reportedly looking to sell Italian solar assets

A solar project from NextEnergy Capital in the UK. Image: NextEnergy Capital.

Solar investor and asset manager NextEnergy Capital Group (NEC) is said to be looking to sell a portfolio of solar projects in Italy for more than €400 million (US$453 million), according to Reuters.

Sources told the news agency that NEC has hired banks to help it find a buyer for the 150MW portfolio, which consists of 105 plants across Italy, including in Sicily and Sardinia.

NEC declined to comment when contacted by PV Tech.

Founded in 2007, when it started tapping into feed-in tariffs to deploy solar projects in Italy, NEC has to date invested in more than 240 individual solar plants globally with a combined capacity of over 1GW.

The firm now manages three investment vehicles: two private funds – NextPower II (NPII) and NextPower III ESG (NPIII) – and one listed investment company, NextEnergy Solar Fund.

NPII invests in operating solar plants, focused on Italy, where it owns projects with a total capacity of around 140MW.

The NPIII fund is mainly targeting solar projects in countries such as Italy, the US, Portugal, Spain and Chile. The fund secured additional commitments earlier this year, taking it close to three-quarters of the way to achieving its fundraising target of US$750 million.

As of Q1 2021, Italy’s deployed solar capacity was 21.8GW, according to trade association SolarPower Europe, which said in a recent report that a complicated permitting environment and an unfavourable tender system for solar have kept the country’s PV market from taking off.

Italy’s energy management agency GSE recently launched a new renewables tender that is expected to allocate 3,312MW of solar PV and wind capacity, with the results due to be announced on 28 January 2022.