Infrastructure investor DIF buys 40MW of Canadian solar power


Infrastructure-focused private equity firm DIF is to acquire four utility-scale solar plants, totalling 40MW of capacity, from Canadian Solar.

The four plants, located in Ontario, Canada, are awaiting financing so that they can move to the construction phase.

BeamLight in Georgina, Gold Light in Pefferlaw, Illumination in Scugog, and Glenarm in Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, will begin construction in 2013 and 2014 – with commercial operations expected to begin in 2014.

Head of DIF in Canada Paul Huebener said, “Following investments in over 160MW of solar PV projects in Europe by DIF managed funds, DIF is pleased to announce its first renewable energy investment in North America. This investment is consistent with DIF’s strategy to invest in quality assets that will provide stable cash flows to its investors, with proven technology suppliers, such as Canadian Solar. Having worked with Canadian Solar in Europe, this transaction highlights the benefits of working with international groups across different countries.”

DIF hit a €800m final close for its dedicated infrastructure fund in March of this year. The firm had originally targeted €600m with a hard cap of €750m but raised the ceiling after strong LP interest. The firm’s inaugural fund was the DIF PPP, which closed in 2006 with €121m to spend and focused on PPP and PFI projects. For this, it attracted LPs such as APG, Partners Group and the European Investment Bank as well as insurers such as Achmea. It then raised a dedicated renewable energy vehicle with a final close of €134m in 2008 before launching DIF Infrastructure II in 2010, through which it raised €571m.

Most recently DIF acquired two UK solar parks through a deal with a consortium of private investors.

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