Partners commences Italian solar build-out

The Swiss private markets specialist has acquired its first two portfolios as it seeks to build a platform in Italy’s solar PV sector.

Partners Group, the Zug, Switzerland-based private markets specialist, has acquired two portfolios of operational ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) plants in Northern and Central Italy for an undisclosed sum.

The portfolios, which were acquired in two separate transactions from two different unidentified sellers, have a combined capacity of 26 megawatts (MW) and are expected to be the first in a series of acquisitions as Partners seeks to build an Italian solar power platform.

One portfolio comprises plants located near Rovigo in the north-east of the country and the other consists of three plants in the Lazio region in the centre of Italy. Both portfolios are connected to the grid and sell power under 2010 and 2011 feed-in tariffs – providing revenues for 20 years of operation.

Partners said in a statement it plans to add more capacity in the northern and central regions and is already considering potential add-on acquisitions. The firm had previously invested jointly in a 71MW solar PV power plant in Rovigo in 2011.

“Over the past few years, we have built an in-depth knowledge of the solar PV market in Italy, which we believe continues to show the same attractive risk and return profile to long-term investors as it did when we invested in the Rovigo plant in 2011,” said Michael Barben, partner and co-head of private infrastructure at Partners Group in the statement.

Partners Group closed its Global Infrastructure 2012 fund on €1 billion in January this year. It was twice the size of the firm’s 2009 predecessor fund.