DIF seals first Aussie deal

The Dutch fund manager has bought a 20MW solar farm through its €1.15bn Fund IV, which it closed last September.

Amsterdam-based DIF has acquired 100 percent of the 20-megawatt Royalla solar photovoltaic (PV) plant from Spanish developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures.

The project, located in Australia’s Capital Territory (ACT), is the first to be bought by the fund manager in the country. It is also the first to be completed under the reverse auction programme launched by the ACT government.

Covering 50 hectares of land, the plant was the largest solar PV power project in Australia when it started operating in September 2014, according to DIF, which added that it is the first large-scale solar facility to be connected to the country’s national grid.

Investing in Australia is a first for DIF’s Fund IV, which the firm closed on €1.15 billion last September. It adds to the geographies previously targeted by the vehicle's predecessors, which include European markets and Canada.

DIF established an Australian outpost in June 2015, when it manned its newly launched Sydney office with senior investment director Marko Kremer.

This year is already proving to be a busy one for the firm, whose Fund III closed on a prison public-private partnership in France last week. DIF is also exploring options to divest its second fund, a 50-asset portfolio it hopes to value at around €700 million.