Quinbrook plans end of year first close for new £500m fund

Quinbrook Renewables Impact Fund, which has a £1bn hard-cap, is set to focus on UK renewables, storage and grid support.

Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners is planning to reach a first close in the next few weeks on its new UK-focused fund targeting £500 million ($662 million; €552 million), Infrastructure Investor has learnt.

The UK and Australia-based manager has begun discussions with LPs over the Quinbrook Renewables Impact Fund, and the Strathclyde Pension Fund last week confirmed a £50 million commitment to the vehicle.

The fund is expected to predominantly comprise UK-based investors for the strategy hoping to take advantage of the UK’s commitment to net zero by 2050. According to documents from the Strathclyde scheme, solar and onshore wind assets will typically be targeted with battery storage capabilities attached, such as its landmark solar-plus-storage deal in Nevada last year, which was acquired by its Low Carbon Power Fund. Standalone storage assets will be targeted, as well as behind the meter generation projects. The strategy will seek to develop projects, as well as acquire late-stage or distressed developments, according to Strathclyde.

The fund has already been successful in tendering for a synchronous condenser project in Wales, Strathclyde stated, which ensures grid stability by generating inertia against adverse energy frequency changes.

QRIF, which has a hard-cap of £1 billion, targets a 9.9 percent net internal rate of return and a cash yield of 6 percent, according to Strathclyde, which it noted is higher than it usually sees for generalist renewables funds. QRIF has a 12-year term with three one-year extensions and is believed to have an investment period of three years.

Quinbrook declined to comment on the fundraising, although founder David Scaysbrook alluded to the launch of the vehicle in an interview with Infrastructure Investor in May.

“We’re not interested in doing another ‘me too’ wind and solar fund in the UK – that’s been done to death and just isn’t that interesting anymore,” he explained at the time. “We have got a different way of doing things that we are pretty excited about, and we’ve got a pipeline of £1 billion already. It’s a strategy that’s very ESG and energy transition-focused, but it’s still heavy infrastructure.”

The Low Carbon Power Fund, Quinbrook’s maiden effort, which closed on $1.6 billion last year, is almost fully deployed, having invested in a range of assets in the US, UK and Australia.

Additional reporting by Daniel Kemp.