An image of a NextEnergy Capital owned solar farm in the UK.
NPUK aims to raise £1 billion for the solar initiative. Image: NextEnergy Capital.

Fundraising efforts for NextEnergy Capital’s UK solar infrastructure fund have raised £625 million so far, with additional funding secured from an unnamed UK-defined benefit pension scheme.

NextPower UK (NPUK), a private solar fund under international investment firm NextEnergy Capital, aims to raise £1 billion for the initiative. NPUK focuses on acquiring utility-scale solar and battery energy storage system assets at the ready-to-build stage, constructing projects to develop a large operating portfolio.

Shane Swords, managing director and head of investor relations at NextEnergy Capital, said: “Since its inception in August 2022, NPUK has demonstrated solid progress, and has already distributed strong dividends to our investors while showcasing significant NAV. 

“This success is underpinned by a large pipeline and swift capital deployment, which commenced just seven weeks after the fund’s first close, with the fund now having nearly 500MW.”

The investment manager said that as well as the addition capital from what it called a “large UK defined benefit scheme,” it expects further capital to be closed in the following months.

NPUK is backed by the UK Infrastructure Bank and has already received investment from UK public pension pool the Border to Coast Pensions Partnership. UK local government pension schemes, including LGPS Central, the Merseyside Pension Fund and the Brunel Pension Partnership, previously contributed to NPUK ESG’s closes.

NextPower Capital confirms NPUK ESG raised c.£600 million from investors

Following NPUK ESG’s strong opening year, NextEnergy Capital, which is headquartered in London, has been bolstering its global solar and storage pipeline.

In October 2023, NextPower confirmed NPUK’s total fundraising to be about £600 million. Its solar and battery energy storage-focused fund NextPower V ESG secured US$110 million (£85.75 million) in capital funding in March, including £77.9 million form a European pension fund.

Michael Bonte-Friedheim, NextEnergy Group CEO and founder, said: “We are delighted to mark yet another significant milestone with NextPower UK ESG, and I am proud to announce that a UK defined benefit scheme has joined us, bringing the total funds committed to over £625m, which is 25% above the target of £500m.

“This is a testament to NextEnergy Capital’s leadership in the solar energy sector. As a private new-build solar strategy that focuses on acquiring utility-scale solar assets at the ready-to-build stage in the UK, NPUK investors benefit from the market leading expertise we bring alongside our hands-on approach to value creation and asset optimisation.”