06 november 2014

Acofi announces the first operation by its 'Transition Energétique France' fund, investing in Europe’s largest photovoltaic power station

Created in July, this private equity fund dedicated to renewables aims for a second closing during the first quarter of 2015.

Three months after the creation of its Transition Energétique France fund for energy transition in France, ACOFI announces the conclusion of a first operation with its investment in the largest photovoltaic power station in Europe, consisting of several power plants for a total capacity of 300 MWp. This project, located in the municipality of Cestas, near Bordeaux, was developed by Neoen, one of the leading independent renewable energy producers.

Alongside eight highly regarded investors, ACOFI Gestion is acquiring a total of 48 MW for the clients of its Transition Energétique France fund.

Construction of the individual power plants is entrusted to a consortium comprised of Eiffage-Clemessy, Schneider Electric and Krinner, which will also be responsible for their operation and maintenance. Total investment in the project amounts to more than €360 million. This station will be directly connected to the extra-high voltage grid and will enter into service in October 2015. It will produce more than 350 gigawatt-hours per year, which corresponds to the electricity consumption of the entire population of Bordeaux.

Transition Energétique France is a FPCI (professional equity fund) dedicated to renewable energies. The fund invests in companies generating photovoltaic power and, peripherally, companies generating wind power, located in metropolitan France. The investment strategy pursued by the management team aims to provide investors with the predictable income from energy infrastructure acquired at a time when regulated feed-in tariffs for electricity are now close to market prices.  The objective is to offer investors an attractive IRR of 8 to 10% over a period of eight years, with a distribution of recurring income from the second year onwards.

‘This first operation has achieved a successful completion and we are proud to be providing the investors who trust us the benefit of a benchmark transaction. This operation reinforces our plan to deploy nearly €200 million of investment capital to secure assets for Transition Energétique France’, said Philippe Garrel, Director of the Transition Energétique France fund.

‘Photovoltaic infrastructures are long-term assets that generate secure flows from the first years of operation and over a long period of time. Momentum is very favourable for building a homogeneous portfolio of power plants whose electricity sale prices are both guaranteed and close to market rates. This operation should enable us to bolster the Fund’s outstanding amount by €60 million, following a second closing that we are planning for the first quarter of 2015’, added Guillaume de Charry, Head of Development at ACOFI Gestion.