International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised Lightsource Renewable Energy (“Lightsource”) on its agreement to enter into a partnership platform with UK Climate Investments to fund the development, acquisition and ownership of large scale solar power generation assets in India.
Lightsource and UK Climate Investments will jointly target the greenfield development and acquisition of operational utility scale solar assets in India to create, via the large scale deployment of institutional capital through Lightsource, high-quality de-risked investment opportunities across the country.
The seed asset for the partnership will be Lightsource’s 60MWp project in the Indian state of Maharashtra, which reaches financial close simultaneously with this announcement and will generate enough clean electricity to power around 20,000 homes. UK Climate Investments will provide 49% of the equity for the construction of the first project and has earmarked circa £30m for this, and to develop and construct up to a total of 300 MW of PV projects with Lightsource. Third party funding and commercial project finance debt will support the initial and subsequent projects.
This equity investment is the first by the joint venture, which uses official development assistance from the International Climate Fund to leverage private investment into low carbon projects in India and Africa. As part of the agreement, Lightsource will provide operations and asset management services for the platform in the long-term; building on the company’s experience providing these services in Europe.
Lightsource is Europe’s largest developer of PV solar projects with more than 1.3 GW of assets under management, while UK Climate Investment is part of the Green Investment Group within Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, the world’s largest infrastructure asset manager with circa US$118bn of assets under management.
The WFW London team advising Lightsource was led by Energy & Infrastructure Partner Henry Stewart, working closely with Tax Partner Tom Jarvis and Corporate Partner Dearbhla Quigley. They were assisted by Corporate Associate Simon Elliot, Energy & Infrastructure Associates Jessica Greenwood and Emma Blake, and Tax Senior Associate Claire Miles.
Henry commented: “I’m delighted to have been able to assist such a pivotal player in the solar sector as Lightsource on this partnership that will help boost the industry and clean energy generally in one of the world’s fastest growing markets and nations”.