Aquila eyes larger solar footprint with new Tokyo office

The German asset manager has completed and exited two solar projects in Japan over the past four years.

Aquila Capital is looking to expand its investments in Japan's solar market by setting up an office in Tokyo.

Yasuhiro Odajima has been appointed as investment manager of Energy & Infrastructure APAC to monitor the firm's investments in Japan. Based in Tokyo, Odajima joins from Pictet Asset Management where he worked as head of alternative distribution for four years, according to his Linkedin profile.

“Our strategy is to combine our deep industry expertise with a network of local contacts to source and manage attractive opportunities for our investors. Odajima has considerable market knowledge and an extensive network of contacts,” said Roman Rosslenbroich, chief executive of Aquila Capital.

The firm started investing in Japan's solar market in 2014, following the launch of its first investment fund domiciled in the country in 2013. It has completed and exited two projects to date.

In April, the firm sold a 38.4MW solar project to a local pension fund. It acquired the project for more than €120 million in December 2016 and completed its development in five months. The utility-scale solar facility was Aquila's second project in Japan. The firm said at the time it was looking to grow its early-stage solar portfolio to over 150MW.

“Japan has been transforming its energy system substantially for several years now and it has put in place a stable legal framework that provides attractive incentives for renewable energy projects. Japan's strong demand for electricity and relatively high sunshine hours makes it one of the most attractive solar markets in the world,” said Boris Beltermann, the firm's head of energy and infrastructure in Asia-Pacific.