Updated: Quercus nears first close for renewables funds

Two funds targeting Italian wind and solar, plus a third focused on general European renewables, are aiming to raise over €250m in late June or July.

Quercus Assets Selection will reach a first close shortly on three renewable energy funds targeting Italy and Europe, according to a source close to the fund manager. 

The funds – which will focus on Italian solar and wind as well as a general European fund – will reach a first close at the end of June or July, targeting at least €250 million. They are aiming for a combined €500 million and are expected to reach a final close by the first half of 2017.

The Italian solar and wind funds were targeting €150 million each, Quercus said at the time of launch, with the European vehicle aiming for €200 million. 

Quercus has a 482MW pipeline of Italian solar assets it is considering and is planning to expand its team to help with post-acquisition activities, the source added. 

The firm held a pre-close in May to use capital from fundraising to cover its acquisition of Antin Infrastructure Partners' solar portfolio. Quercus partnered with Swiss Life to purchase the 77.1MW Antin portfolio, the fifth largest solar portfolio in Italy at the time. 

Italy is one of the largest solar markets in the world, but it is highly fragmented with thousands of owners across its 18GW of installed capacity. Quercus chairman Vito Gamerbale told Low Carbon Energy Investor last year that this makes for a good opportunity to begin consolidating assets.