Hareon Solar-Nereus Capital to develop solar power projects

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Hareon Solar Technology Co Ltd a Chinese solar panels manufacturer is joining hands with a private equity firm Nereus Capital to develop over 150MW of solar power projects in India over the next two years, according to a statement.

The partnership follows Hareon’s earlier announcement that it planned to establish a subsidiary in India to invest in photovoltaic projects.

The true nature of the deal is not yet revealed but it points towards a new trend becoming popular in real estate where a PE firm ties with a developer for a string of projects.

Nereus’ India Solar Investment Trust seeks to generate stable yields by investing in utility-scale solar PV projects in India with creditworthy off-takers.

According to VP, global business development, Hareon, Jie Zhang, “India is a compelling and growing market for solar PV projects. By partnering with a leading Indian private equity firm, we are able to apply leading technology and end-to-end financing to efficiently develop and construct solar projects.”

Founded in 2004, Hareon manufactures spanning wafers, cells, modules and PV power plants. The firm has more than 1.5GW of annual cell capacity and more than 1GW of annual module capacity. Hareon has built and grid-connected more than 500MW of PV power plants globally as of December 31, 2013.

“We have reached an interesting inflection point for solar power in India, as a result of falling project costs and escalating electricity prices, it can now be cost-effective for certain industrial and commercial end-users of power in India to purchase solar power directly,” said Jonathan Winer, MD, Nereus.

Mumbai-based Nereus Capital is an affiliated company of USD22.6 billion Northern Lights Capital Group, a multi-boutique asset management business, and seeks to invest in power generation, manufacturing of clean technologies and energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors.

Nereus Capital’s India Alternative Energy Fund had last year received a fresh USD100 million commitment from overseas limited partners (LPs) for its maiden fund targeting USD250 million. This investment came from Northern Lights Capital Group and US Agency for International Development (USAID). In 2012, the fund closed a USD20 million commitment from International Finance Corporation, the investment arm of World Bank.

Nereus Capital has been looking to build a portfolio of 7-10 investments of USD15-35 million each in India.

In 2013, India ranked sixth globally in annual solar capacity additions with installations of 1.1 GW. Hareon expects total installations, including utility, commercial and industrial sectors, of 8 GW in 2016.

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