Glennmont commits €150m to South Korean renewables

The firm is partnering with South Korean renewable energy developer SK D&D in a joint investment company focused on solar PV projects.

Nuveen-owned Glennmont Partners is set to enter the South Korean renewables market via a partnership with South Korean renewable energy developer SK D&D.

Glennmont chief executive Joost Bergsma told Infrastructure Investor the firm – which has signed a co-investment memorandum of understanding with the developer – will have an 85 percent stake in the new joint investment company launched in partnership with SK D&D, with the latter owning the remaining 15 percent.

The venture will see Glennmont invest roughly €150 million in solar PV projects in South Korea, with the firm owning a majority stake in the projects. As part of the deal, the firm will also raise debt financing and sell projects to end buyers.

“From a strategic perspective, solar is very attractive. It’s one of the fastest growing segments inside renewable energy – half of new-build [renewable projects] are solar, so that’s a huge opportunity,” Bergsma said.

“South Korea is a key, large economy and we’re getting into the solar market very early [with this partnership].”

Fabian D’Avola, Glennmont’s APAC head of renewable energy, said the firm saw South Korea as a particularly important market within the region thanks to a strong regulatory framework and a low penetration of solar projects in the country.

“[As an established renewable energy developer] SK D&D has a lot of access to small and medium-sized projects [whereas] Glennmont has a strong base of investors [to whom] we can sell those assets. [Through the new partnership] we are trying to get synergy from combining SK D&D’s core competencies with our ability to raise debt and sell projects,” D’Avola added.

Forming long-term partnerships with established local players would continue to be part of Glennmont’s strategy as it looks to expand its operations in APAC, Bergsma said. While the firm is interested in exploring offshore wind and storage projects, solar is likely to remain its key focus in the short term.

He also said the firm would continue to focus on developed economies as it seeks out further solar opportunities within the region, with Australia and Japan considered key markets.

“[We] typically like to focus on the larger economies as it’s quite important for us to do these solar projects a little bit at scale,” he explained.