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Quinbrook’s renewables fund exceeds closing target

Published: 16 October 2023

The fund’s portfolio is backed by investment in the Cleve Hill Solar Park on the south coast of England, which is set to become the UK’s biggest solar and battery storage project.

The renewables fund’s investments are forecast to power more than 102,000 UK homes each year. Photo: iStock

Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, an investment manager targeting opportunities arising from the transition to net zero in the UK, US and Australia, raised £620m (€717m) for a fund with solar and energy storage assets in the UK.

The final close of the Quinbrook Renewables Impact Fund (QRIF) exceeded its initial target of £500m. Quinbrook’s third managed fund is closely linked to the UK government’s goal to decarbonise its electricity system by 2035, boost its energy security and reduce regional inequality.

QRIF has been “specifically tailored to the needs of UK institutional investors seeking to make investments in their home market in new build projects that were truly impactful in progressing the UK’s energy transition, creating jobs and delivering a broad range of community benefits”, Rory Quinlan, co-founder and managing partner of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, told Impact Investor.

Inflation-linked contracts

The senior management team at Quinbrook is made up of power industry professionals who have collectively invested over $8.2bn in energy infrastructure assets since the early 1990s.

QRIF’s portfolio consists of a range of long-term inflation-linked contracts with National Grid and the UK government, as well as inflation-linked power purchase agreements with leading UK companies, Quinbrook said.

The portfolio is backed by investment in the Cleve Hill Solar Project on the north Kent coast, which will become Britain’s biggest solar and battery storage once it is completed next year.

Other notable investments include the Rassau Synchronous Condenser in Wales, which will support the stable decarbonisation of electricity supply as the UK boosts its uptake of variable renewables, the Uskmouth 230MW battery storage project in Wales and Habitat Energy, the UK’s market leading battery optimisation platform.

Once building is completed and the assets operational, Quinbrook expects more than 85% of the portfolio’s cashflows to be linked to UK rates of inflation.

£273m for local communities

“The types of project investments were also both market-leading and highly differentiated and pointed to some of the newer infrastructure opportunities offered by the transition featuring attractive return profiles as well as inflation protection,” Quinlan said. He added that the fund’s investments also benefitted from cross-party support in the UK as the country seeks to achieve its net zero goals.

The fund’s projects are forecast to support more than 3,300 regional jobs, generate £273m in socioeconomic contributions to local communities and produce enough electricity to power more than 102,000 UK homes each year, Quinbrook said. 

“As a long-time investor in the UK energy market, Quinbrook anticipated the need for not just more renewables supply, but also for new types of infrastructure that could enforce the power grid – especially as the UK moves to close its coal-fired power stations and decarbonise the country’s power system,” Quinlan said.

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