Exclusive: SUSI to close storage fund on €250m in H1 2018

Current commitments stand at around €110m after a second close in the summer – this followed a €66 million first close at the end of March. The Swiss vehicle has also secured its second investment, deploying C$120m into energy storage sites in Canada.

Swiss investment firm SUSI Partners is expecting to close its Energy Storage Fund in the first half of next year, Infrastructure Investor has learnt.

Current commitments stand at around €110 million after a second close in the summer – this followed a €66 million first close at the end of March. The fund is expected to hit its €250 million hard-cap upon closing.

The news came as the fund signed its second deal – agreeing a financing facility of C$120 million ($93.9 million; €79.7 million) to back energy storage projects in Canada. The company has teamed up with local project developer NRStor C&I as it looks to deploy a pipeline of behind-the-meter energy storage projects with more than 300MW of total capacity. Asif Rafique, managing director of energy storage at SUSI, told Infrastructure Investor that the firm will look to fund “as many of those as we can”.

Rafique also hailed the deal as an important step for the energy storage market, describing it as “the first large-scale repeatable financing in the sector”.

“In this instance, we don’t have to do the due diligence on [standard non-recourse financing] agreements each time we are looking at a project,” he added. “It should expedite and streamline the whole process. Rather than a standard due diligence timeframe of anything between eight and 12 weeks, you are looking at a fraction of that.”

The NRStor investment follows the Energy Storage Fund’s tie-up with Convergent Energy and Power in October last year for a 12MW facility, also in Canada. The move is the second time this year NRStor has partnered institutional capital after the Labourers’ Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada in February provided C$11 million, as well as access to C$200 million in additional capital.

SUSI is also planning this quarter to launch its Global Energy Transition Fund, targeting commitments of up to €1 billion, while targeting €250 million in fundraising for its Asia Energy Transition Fund.