Omnes, a Paris-based investor in private equity and infrastructure, has acquired a controlling stake in the Irish solar PV developer Power Capital Renewable Energy (PCRE) via its fourth-generation renewable energy fund, Capenergie 4.With Omnes’ backing, PCRE will focus on developing and building its 500 MW solar PV portfolio in Ireland. The JV between the companies has already yielded its first success: PCRE was awarded a feed-in tariff for four projects with total of 27 MW in the first auction under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS 1) which took place in August 2020.
Michael Pollan, Partner at Omnes, says: “We are thrilled to be partnering with PCRE in this exciting market. Our partnership will allow PCRE to transform into a true Irish independent power producer in the coming years and build a strategic position in Irish solar PV. In addition to the recently and successfully launched RESS, we believe Ireland’s renewable energy landscape will also be transformed through private sector demand for green electricity. With PCRE, we intend to play a key role in this transformation.”
PCRE’s Irish project pipeline currently stands at 300 MW. The company intends to grow this pipeline through further development, acquisition of assets and though co-development and partnership opportunities
Peter Duff, CEO, PCRE, says: “We look forward to working closely with our French partners and building on our recent success in the Renewable Energy Support Scheme auction. We are excited about the next part of the Power Capital journey. Our ambition is to develop into Ireland’s leading Independent Power Producer. With Omnes we have the ideal partner to help us do that”.
Justin Brown, Managing Director, PCRE, says: “We are delighted with this significant investment by a highly regarded European Infrastructure Fund. We look forward to developing high quality projects which will provide local jobs and investment in communities, whilst also help in reducing Ireland’s carbon footprint.”
After beginning fundraising less than a year ago, Capenergie 4 has already exceeded its target size by raising over EUR500 million in capital from French and European institutional investors. The deal marks Capenergie 4’s fifth investment in only nine months and has not yet closed. The fund’s portfolio is already strongly diversified with solar PV and onshore wind investments spread over 11 European countries.
The aim of the Capenergie funds is to provide European renewables developers with growth capital to help them transform into independent power producers. This unique value-add strategy has achieved outstanding returns and has created new market leaders across the European renewable energy sector.
Serge Savasta, Managing Partner at Omnes, says: “We are delighted with the strong level of interest and appetite to commit that investors are showing towards Capenergie 4; underscoring the success of our unique investment approach combining private equity and infrastructure, which the team has put into play since 2006 to transform Europe’s renewable energy developers into independent power producers.”