Renewables fund manager Quercus Assets Selection will launch two new funds targeting a combined €300 million to aggregate Italian wind and solar assets respectively.
The funds are aiming to raise €150 million each and join the recently-launched Quercus European Renewables fund, a multi-technology vehicle seeking €200 million to build a European portfolio.
In all, Quercus is looking to raise €500 million across the three funds. The 10-year vehicles are targeting returns of between 8 and 10 percent, rising to 9 to 11 percent for the Quercus Italian Wind Fund. The latter is looking to build a 300MW asset portfolio over the next two years. Quercus did not release portfolio details for its solar and European funds.
Italy is the world’s fourth-largest solar market, with an installed capacity of 18.3GW and the ninth-biggest wind market with 8.7GW installed. But Italy is also a highly fragmented renewables market, which Quercus is hoping to capitalise on.
In a recent interview with sister publication Low Carbon Energy Investor, infrastructure veteran and F2i founder Vito Gamberale, now Quercus’ new chairman, outlined the size of the opportunity:
“These solar and wind plants are spread across a very large number of facilities. In Italy, we have roughly 18GW of solar spread across half a million plants. That gives you an idea of how big the opportunity to aggregate assets is. It’s also the right time, when individual operators are ready to sell to investors looking to aggregate. And the same opportunity exists in the wind sector.”
In a statement, Quercus co-founder and chief executive Diego Biasi added that Quercus’ “knowledge of the market means that we can rapidly source and identify the best opportunities in order to optimise the asset selection of the portfolio”.