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I Squared expands Asia footprint with solar, heating units

A little over two years after sealing its debut investment in China, the firm has made its first move into the world’s largest solar market by acquiring 143MW in Shandong.

New York-based investment manager I Squared Capital has broadened its portfolio in Asia with the creation of separate solar and district heating companies.

Asia Cube Solar has been set up with the intention of investing in both ground-mounted and rooftop solar projects. The platform has already made its first investments in the world’s largest solar market, buying five solar farms in the Shandong province with a combined capacity of 143MW. I Squared added that Asia Cube Solar would continue to assess opportunities in nearby nations such as Taiwan and Japan.

The new district heating platform – Asia Cube Energy – has also made its first move, having been awarded two 30-year concession agreements to design, build and operate CHP facilities in the Chongqing and Zhejiang provinces. The new firm will be focused on reducing costs and emissions by replacing coal-fired boilers with new natural gas systems.

The two portfolio companies have been established as part of the ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund, the firm’s debut infrastructure vehicle which closed on $3 billion in April 2015, above its $2 billion target.

The latest investments come about two and a half years after I Squared sealed its first deal in China by buying a majority stake in Jiangsu Province Jiaqing Water Services. The firm received a $200 million commitment from OPIC late last year as part of a separately managed account focused on Asia.

The solar farms bought by Asia Cube Solar now mean I Squared’s renewable energy portfolio comprises 4.3GW spanning 13 countries.