DIF makes maiden US deal

The Dutch fund manager has acquired 49% of a Californian solar farm as it ramps up its investments in North America.

Netherlands-based DIF has signed a sale and purchase agreement with Spanish renewables developer EDP Renováveis to acquire 49 percent of the 30-megawatt (MW) Lone Valley solar farm in California.

The project, DIF’s first acquisition in the US, commenced operations in the last quarter of 2014. It now sells its power output through two 20-year Power Purchase Agreements.

The investment was made through DIF Infrastructure III, a vehicle closed by the firm in March 2014 on its revised hard cap of €800 million.

“Lone Valley is a project in a sector that DIF understands well and that will provide long term and stable cash flows to DIF’s investors as part of DIF’s growing asset portfolio in North America and Europe,” said Paul Huebener, DIF’s head of Americas, in a statement.

“The US is a large and important market for DIF and we anticipate that this investment will act as a stepping stone for more energy and [public-private partnership] infrastructure investments for DIF”.

The deal comes two months after the fund manager closed its acquisition of Canada’s 10MW Glenarm solar plant, the first of four being bought by DIF from developer Canadian Solar.

The firm sealed its first investment in the country in August 2013 when it acquired a 40 percent shareholding in the Royal Jubilee Hospital public-private partnership project in Victoria, British Columbia, from Spanish construction group Acciona.

DIF opened its Toronto office, where Huebener is based, in October 2012.