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Carlyle to raise renewable energy fund

The Carlyle Group has launched a debut fund targeting the renewable energy space. The firm is said to be seeking as much as $300m.

The Carlyle Group has begun its push into the renewable energy space. The Washington DC-based firm is seeking around $300 million (€252 million) for a debut renewable energy fund, market sources say, and could close the vehicle in the next couple months.

The Carlyle Group has launched its debut renewable energy fund, seeking around $300m.

Reuters, in a report issued this morning, quoted Carlyle head David Rubenstein as saying that the fund would invest in areas such as the wind, solar energy, biomass and geothermal segments of the market, and a source told PEO that the investments would be structured as leveraged buyouts as opposed to venture deals.

The renewable energy space has drawn a number of prospectors in recent years, as the escalation of oil and gas prices have made technologies such as wind and solar more of a plausible option.

Late last year, Natural Gas Partners lured Perseus vet Philip Deutch to run its debut energy technology fund, while venture capitalists such as Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers have set in motion their own greentech initiatives. Moreover, institutional investors, such as Carlyle-backer The California Public Employees Retirement System, have also made it a point to commit to green technologies.

Carlyle has been an active participant in the energy space in the past, investing in the industry through its Carlyle/Riverstone family of funds, which were established in partnership with the David Leuschen-led Riverstone Holdings.

In addition to the debut renewable-energy fund, Carlyle is also currently raising its third Carlyle/Riverstone global energy vehicle, according to SEC filings.

Carlyle/Riverstone has pursued deals in the renewable energy segment in the past. Last year, the firm backed five 30-megawatt solar-thermal projects, investing alongside publicly held FPL Group. The projects are based in California’s Mojave Desert.

Carlyle declined comment regarding the new fund.