January 12, 2023
UK-headquartered investment management group NextEnergy Capital has acquired six standalone battery storage and six solar PV projects in Greece.
The acquisitions have been made by NextPower ESG III, a private solar fund managed by NextEnergy Capital to invest in the OECD region. Launched in 2018, its fundraising closed in January 2022 with US$896 million to invest, overshooting its US$750 million target with international institutional investors its main source of funds.
So far its prior acquisitions have been made in Chile, Portugal, the US and Poland, totalling around 1.2GW of combined capacity.
The transactions in Greece, which are for 132MWp of solar PV and 400MW of battery energy storage system (BESS) projects, mark the fund’s entry into the Greek market as well as its first battery storage acquisitions.
The development stage the projects have reached was not disclosed by NextEnergy Capital in an announcement sent to media including Energy-Storage.news. This site has however reached out to enquire about their status, as well as the financial terms and vendor or vendors for the transaction, which have not been disclosed either.
The investment manager did say however that it expects the six standalone BESS projects will compete in Greece’s upcoming contracts for difference (CfD) auctions, to be held this year. Meanwhile, power purchase agreements (PPAs) will be sought for the solar power plants.
Entering Greece’s solar PV market was the “next logical step” for the NextPower ESG III fund, parent company NextEnergy Group’s managing partner and chief investment officer Aldo Beolchini said, due in part to the country’s high levels of solar irradiation and its status as the country with the second-highest energy demand in Southern Europe.
“I am also excited to see NextPower III ESG make its strategic step into battery storage, as we have done with our other funds, a highly complementary technology to solar with an attractive return profile. NextPower III ESG will benefit from NextEnergy Capital’s experience in this asset class, having owned battery assets since 2018,” Beolchini said.
Various other energy storage investors and industry players have identified Greece as an upcoming hotbed for deployment, not least because the European Union (EU) Member State has set a 3GW deployment target by 2030.
Last September, the EU approved state aid for a Greek government plan to invest €341 million (US$366.97 million) in installing 900MW of energy storage, while one industry commentator, Charley Grimston at battery insurance group Altelium, told this site a while back that the country’s regulators are a little ahead of most of the rest of Europe in adapting rules and market design to accommodate storage technologies.
In an October 2021 Energy-Storage.news webinar, energy storage consultancy Clean Horizon discussed just why Greece was set to become one of “Europe’s hottest markets” for energy storage, even before the setting of its ambitious deployment target.