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REG - NextEnergy Solar Fnd - First Standalone Sustainability Report Publication

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RNS Number : 4517F  NextEnergy Solar Fund Limited  07 November 2022

LEI: 213800ZPHCBDDSQH5447

7 November 2022

NextEnergy Solar Fund Limited

("NESF" or the "Company")

 

Publication of First Standalone Sustainability Report

 

NextEnergy Solar Fund, the specialist solar and energy storage climate impact
fund with a combined installed power capacity of 865MW, is pleased to announce
it has today published its first in-depth standalone sustainability report.

 

The report goes beyond the Company's immediate sustainability obligations by
providing in-depth details on the Company's sustainability journey, its
proprietary approach to biodiversity, and its industry leading ESG
initiatives, that deliver a real environmental and social impact. The report
covers the Company's ESG performance over the financial year 2021/22 whilst
articulating how the Company builds its sustainability strategy around the
three pillars of NextEnergy Solar Fund's Sustainability Framework, which are
material to the Company's Environmental, Social, and Governance ("ESG")
approach. These three pillars are:

·     Climate change

·     Biodiversity

·     Human rights

 

The report shares many detailed case studies of NESF's industry leading
approach, including seizing the opportunity to lead on biodiversity by
supporting the Global Goal for Nature's targets of "nature-positive by 2030",
and "nature-recovery by 2050." Also, playing a key role in improving human
rights through the solar supply chain with the launch of the Solar Stewardship
Initiative, with Giulia Guidi, Head of ESG at NextEnergy Capital, contributing
her extensive ESG knowledge in this industry wide project to develop
confidence in how, where, and by whom, solar products are manufactured.

 

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals ("SDGs") act as reference
points for NESF's progress against the Company's high-level ESG goals and also
inform the Company's high-level decisions. NESF's sustainability report
summarises the Company's alignment with those SDGs that are most relevant to
it and thereby acknowledges the direct and indirect impacts the Company has
within the environment and communities it operates in, alongside measuring
those impacts where possible.

 

This report enhances NESF's transparency by explaining how the Company
approaches ESG and how its sustainable performance indicators are reported,
capturing each aspect of "E", "S" and "G", including climate change, water,
circular economy, community impact, supply chain, and biodiversity. For
climate-related metrics, NESF uses the Green Investment Group's Green
Analytics team to independently calculate the CO(2e) emissions avoided of the
portfolio. This ensures a high standard of delivery, transparency and
continuity in relation to its positive contribution to climate change
mitigation. As a result, NESF is able to quantify the substantive positive
impact generated by its operating activities.

 

NESF is committed to continuously improve the accuracy, scope and transparency
of its ESG and sustainability reporting. The full NextEnergy Solar Fund
Sustainability Report can be found on the Company's website here:
https://www.nextenergysolarfund.com/esg/transparency-and-reporting/
(https://www.nextenergysolarfund.com/esg/transparency-and-reporting/)

 

 

Kevin Lyon, Chairman of NextEnergy Solar Fund commented:

"We believe that a rigorous approach to ESG, combined with a team that is
genuinely passionate about generating a more sustainable future, provides
intrinsic value to NESF shareholders beyond financial returns.  We always
strive for excellence in both our underlying asset performance and our
reporting.  The fund classifies as Article 9 under the SFDR regulation and
has already disclosed according to these obligations.  NESF's first
standalone and industry-leading sustainability report, led by Josephine Bush,
Chair of the ESG committee, and Giulia Guidi, Head of ESG at NextEnergy
Capital, is part of our progressive environmental, social and governance
strategy to increase transparency and drive forward our ambitious best
practice reporting to exceed stakeholder and market expectations."

 

Michael Bonte-Friedheim, CEO of NextEnergy Group said:

"NESF's first in-depth standalone sustainability report is the result of the
continued hard work and commitment in integrating ESG principles and actions
into the heart of NESF. By identifying, aligning and measuring, NESF's
sustainability framework does not only show the progress made during the
period, but also identifies and reduces risk within NESF, making its strategy
more sustainable.  I would like to thank the entire team for the tremendous
amount of work and detail that went into the first Sustainability Report and
for continuing to implement NESF's ESG principles, at every level of the fund,
which are delivering a demonstrable positive impact."

 

 For further information:

 NextEnergy Capital 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

                                             020 3781 8334

 Camarco
 Owen Roberts
 Eddie Livingstone-Learmonth

                                             014 8174 2642

 Ocorian Administration (Guernsey) Limited
 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 UK solar project under construction (Whitecross 36MW)

·      A ready-to-build 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:

Joint Venture Partnership with Eelpower:

·      A 50MW standalone battery storage project in Fife, Scotland,
currently under construction (part of a £300m joint venture with Eelpower)

·      A portfolio of 250MW pre-construction standalone battery storage
projects in the East of England

 

Co-located programme:

 

·      First site identified for 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 30 June 2022, the Company had an unaudited gross asset value of
£1,198m, 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 an unaudited net asset value of £717.2m.

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 350 individual solar plants for a capacity
in excess of 2.4GW 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 an unaudited
      gross asset value of £1,198m.  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 an 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 ESG recently
      announced its first close at £327 million, which is over 65% of the funds
      target of £500 million.  The UK Infrastructure Bank is the cornerstone
      investor for the fund and plans to invest up to £250 million 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 1,350 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.10GW
of both green and brownfield project developments across global geographies.

 

Notes:

(1:) All financial data is unaudited at 30 June 2022, being the latest date in
respect of which NESF has published financial information

 

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