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REG - NextEnergy Solar Fnd - Article 9 Fund

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RNS Number : 1864T  NextEnergy Solar Fund Limited  21 July 2022

LEI: 213800ZPHCBDDSQH5447

21 July 2022

 

NextEnergy Solar Fund Limited

 

("NESF" or the "Company")

 

Article 9 Fund

 

NextEnergy Solar Fund, the Specialist Solar and Energy Storage Climate Impact
Fund, with a combined installed power capacity of 865MW, is pleased to report
it is classified under Article 9 of the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure
Regulation and EU Taxonomy Regulation.

 

The Article 9 classification means that NESF has a sustainable investment
objective and is committed to reporting its carbon emission reductions on an
annual basis.  The Company substantially contributes to climate mitigation
whilst ensuring increased transparency on the integration of ESG related
risks, whilst incorporating good governance in its investment decisions and
strategy.

 

EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation ("SFDR")

The EU SFDR was introduced to improve disclosure on sustainability metrics and
increase transparency.  NextEnergy Capital ("NEC"), the Company's investment
adviser and manager, continues to monitor compliance with the Level One
obligations which came into force on 10 March 2021, and is preparing for the
Level Two obligations, which are yet to be finalised and are set to come into
force on 1 January 2023.

 

EU Taxonomy Regulation

The Company's portfolio is 100% aligned with the EU Taxonomy.  All
investments are in either solar PV, co-located battery storage and standalone
battery storage assets.  This equates to full alignment as they:

1.    Substantially contribute to the climate change mitigation,
environmental objective through a) generating and storing renewable energy,
and b) establishing energy infrastructure required for decarbonising energy
systems;

2.    Meet the criteria of "Doing No Significant Harm" ("DNSH") through a
robust Due Diligence process developed to comply with the fund's Sustainable
Investment Policy;

3.    Meet "minimum safeguards" as explained in NEC's Sustainable
Investment Policy and Human Rights Position Statement.

 

Disclosures

The Company is committed to publish all disclosures required by the above
regulation and has recently published the following disclosures on its
website:

 

·      Annex V Periodic Disclosure:
(https://cdn.nesf1.nextenergysolarfund.com/nesf/2022/06/NESF-%E2%80%93-SFDR-RTS-Annex-V.pdf
(https://cdn.nesf1.nextenergysolarfund.com/nesf/2022/06/NESF-%E2%80%93-SFDR-RTS-Annex-V.pdf)
)

·      ESG Disclosure Document:
(https://cdn.nesf1.nextenergysolarfund.com/nesf/2021/03/NextEnergy-Capital-ESG-Disclosures-Final-09.03.2021.pdf
(https://cdn.nesf1.nextenergysolarfund.com/nesf/2021/03/NextEnergy-Capital-ESG-Disclosures-Final-09.03.2021.pdf)
)

·      EU SFDR and EU Taxonomy FAQ:
(https://cdn.nesf1.nextenergysolarfund.com/nesf/2021/12/NextEnergyCapital_EUSFDR_FAQ.pdf
(https://cdn.nesf1.nextenergysolarfund.com/nesf/2021/12/NextEnergyCapital_EUSFDR_FAQ.pdf)
)

 

These disclosure documents outline how the Company aligns with the EU SFDR and
the Taxonomy, including disclosure requirements for financial product
classified under Article 9.  The Company is committed to maximise its
disclosures and plans to comply with future EU SFDR and Taxonomy requirements,
ensuring that maximum transparency around sustainability and ESG is provided
to investors on an ongoing basis.  The Company will issue its first
standalone sustainability report in August 2022.

 

 

Michael Bonte-Friedheim, CEO of NextEnergy Group said:

"NextEnergy Solar Fund has been built around a mission to lead the transition
to clean energy since inception.  I am thrilled that NESF classifies as an
Article 9 Fund under the EU SFDR and Taxonomy Regulation. NextEnergy's ESG
team continues to ensure that NESF's ESG disclosures are industry-leading, as
the fund continues to increase its ESG transparency and reporting for our
investors into the future."

 

For further information:

 NextEnergy Group                           020 3746 0700
 Michael Bonte-Friedheim                    ir@nextenergysolarfund.com
 Aldo Beolchini
 Ross Grier
 Peter Hamid (Investor Relations)

 RBC Capital Markets                        020 7653 4000
 Matthew Coakes
 Kathryn Deegan

 Cenkos Securities                          020 7397 8900
 James King
 William Talkington

 Camarco                                    020 3781 8334
 Owen Roberts
 Eddie Livingstone-Learmonth

 Ocorian Administration (Guernsey) Limited  014 8174 2642
 Kevin Smith

 

 

Notes to Editors(1):

 

About NextEnergy Solar Fund

NESF is a Specialist Solar and Energy Storage Climate Impact Fund.  The
Company is structured as a renewable energy investment company listed on the
premium segment of the London Stock Exchange that invests in utility-scale
solar power plants and energy storage.  The Company may invest up to 30% of
its gross asset value in non-UK OECD countries, 15% in solar-focused private
infrastructure funds, and 10% in energy storage.

 

NESF currently has a diversified portfolio comprising of the following:

 

Solar PV:

·   100 operating solar assets across the UK and Italy (primarily on
agricultural, industrial, and commercial sites)

·   A 50MW co-investment into a Spanish solar project alongside NextPower
III ESG, currently under construction

·   A 210MW co-investment into a Portuguese solar project alongside
NextPower III ESG, currently under construction

·   A subsidy-free UK solar project under construction (Whitecross 36MW)

·   A ready-to-build subsidy-free UK solar project (Hatherden 50MW)

·   A $50m commitment into NextPower III ESG (a private solar
infrastructure fund providing exposure to both operating and under
construction, international solar assets)

 

Energy Storage:

·  A 50MW standalone battery storage project in Fife, Scotland, currently
under construction (part of a 250MW joint venture with Eelpower)

·   A 6MW co-located battery storage project at North Norfolk Solar Farm

 

The NESF portfolio has a combined installed power capacity of 865MW (excluding
NextPower III MW on an equivalent look-through basis).

 

As at 31 March 2022, the Company had a gross asset value of £1,150 million,
being the aggregate of the net asset value of the ordinary shares, the fair
value of the preference shares and the amount of NESF Group debt outstanding,
and a net asset value of £668.5 million.

 

NESF's investment objective is to provide ordinary shareholders with
attractive risk-adjusted returns, principally in the form of regular
dividends, by investing in a diversified portfolio of solar energy and energy
storage infrastructure assets.  The majority of NESF's long-term cash flows
are inflation-linked via UK government subsidies.

 

For further information on NESF please visit www.nextenergysolarfund.com
(http://nextenergysolarfund.com/)

 

Commitment to ESG

NESF is committed to ESG principles and responsible investment which make a
meaningful contribution to reducing CO2 emissions through the generation of
clean solar power.  NESF will only select investments that meet the
requirements of NEC Group's Sustainable Investment Policy.  Based on this
policy, NESF benefits from NEC's rigorous ESG due diligence on each
investment.  NESF is committed to reporting on its ESG performance in
accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals framework and the EU
Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation.

 

NESF has been awarded the London Stock Exchange's Green Economy Mark and has
been designated a Guernsey Green Fund by the Guernsey Financial Services
Commission.

 

Article 9

NESF is classified under Article 9 of the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure
Regulation and EU Taxonomy Regulation.

 

NESF's sustainability-related disclosures in the financial services sector in
accordance with Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 can be accessed on the ESG section
of both the NESF website (nextenergysolarfund.com/esg/
(http://www.nextenergysolarfund.com/esg/) ) & NEC Group website
(nextenergycapital.com/sustainability/transparency-and-reporting/
(https://www.nextenergycapital.com/sustainability/transparency-and-reporting/)
).

 

 

About NextEnergy Group

NESF is managed by NextEnergy Capital, part of the NextEnergy Group.
NextEnergy Group was founded in 2007 to become a leading market participant in
the international solar sector.  Since its inception, it has been active in
the development, construction, and ownership of solar assets across multiple
jurisdictions.  NextEnergy Group operates via its three business units:
NextEnergy Capital (Investment Management), WiseEnergy (Operating Asset
Management) and Starlight (Asset Development).

 

NextEnergy Capital

NextEnergy Capital comprises the Group's investment management activities.
To date, NEC has invested in over 325 individual solar plants for a capacity
in excess of 2.3GW across it institutional funds.
www.nextenergycapital.com (http://www.nextenergycapital.com/)

 

·   NextEnergy Solar Fund ("NESF") is a solar infrastructure investment
company focused on the UK and other OECD countries, which is listed on the
premium segment of the London Stock Exchange.  It currently owns 865MW spread
among 100 individual operating assets in the UK and Italy, comprising a gross
asset value of £1,150m.  NESF is one of the largest listed solar energy
investment companies in the world.

·     NextPower II ("NPII") a private fund made up of 105 individual
operating solar power plants and an installed capacity of 149MW, focused on
consolidating the substantial, highly fragmented Italian solar market.  NPII
was successfully divested in January 2022, a 2016 vintage vehicle that
generated net IRRs in excess of its gross target of 10-12%.

·   NextPower III ESG ("NPIII")  is a private fund exclusively focused on
the international solar infrastructure sector, principally targeting projects
in carefully selected OECD countries, including the US, Portugal, Spain,
Chile, Poland and Italy.  NPIII is a fund that provides a positive social and
environmental impact to the countries it has and will invest into. NPIII
completed its fundraise with a total of $896m, including a SMA raised.  The
target of the fund was $750m.

·     NextPower UK ESG ("NPUK") is a private unlevered fund investing in
greenfield subsidy-free solar projects, with PPA's, in the UK.  NPUK was
launched in December 2021.  The UK Infrastructure Bank is providing financing
to the initial seed assets of the fund, and plans to invest up to £250m, half
of the fund's total target fund size, on a match-funding basis.

 

WiseEnergy

WiseEnergy® is NextEnergy Capital Group's operating asset manager.
WiseEnergy is a leading specialist operating asset manager in the solar
sector.  Since its founding, WiseEnergy has provided solar asset management,
monitoring and technical due diligence services to over 1,400 utility-scale
solar power plants with an installed capacity in excess of 1.8GW.  WiseEnergy
clients comprise leading banks and equity financiers in the energy and
infrastructure sector.

www.wise-energy.com (http://www.wise-energy.com/)

 

Starlight

Starlight is NextEnergy Group's development company that is active in the
development phase of solar projects.  It has developed over 100 utility-scale
projects internationally and continues to progress a large pipeline of c.5GW
of both green and brownfield project developments across global geographies.

 

Notes:

(1:) All financial data is at 31 March 2022, being the latest date in respect
of which NESF has published financial information

 

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