The Rise Fund, the $5-billion global impact investment fund managed by alternative asset firm TPG Growth, has acquired approximately 1 gigawatt of solar photovoltaics (PV) assets from China-based Trina Solar for an undisclosed amount.
The acquisition includes Trina Solar’s PV projects in Spain, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. These assets serve as the first projects within the portfolio of the newly created Matrix Renewables platform, TPG said.
The new platform, which will be based in Madrid, seeks to develop and acquire additional solar PV projects and other clean energy infrastructure assets globally.
“With the establishment of Matrix Renewables and the leadership of a seasoned management team, we are actively looking for additional strategic opportunities to grow our global portfolio and build out the platform,” said Ed Beckley, a partner at TPG who leads the firm’s infrastructure investing efforts.
The global solar PV market continues to grow rapidly as companies shift to decarbonisation. According to IEA’s Renewables 2019 market report, the world’s total renewable-based power capacity will grow by 50 per cent between 2019 and 2024 and solar PV accounts for 60 per cent of the increase.
“We look forward to growing the Matrix Renewables portfolio to accelerate positive environmental impact well-beyond this initial 1GW of clean energy generation,” said Steve Ellis, co-managing partner of The Rise Fund.
A growing number of investors have also manifested their interest in the global solar power market recently. Among them is private equity giant KKR, which acquired 317 MW of solar assets from the Shapoorji Pallonji Group of India for ₹1,554 crore. Six investors have also separately expressed interest in acquiring a majority stake in Finland’s state-controlled power utility Fortum Oyj’s 500 MW India solar projects.
In January, Singapore state-owned investment firm Temasek Holdings and ABC World Asia, an Asia-focused impact investing private equity (PE) fund, have pumped in S$50 million ($36.8 million) in solar energy system developer and operator Sunseap Group.
The sale of the solar PV assets to TPG’s The Rise Fund comes as Trina Solar is preparing for an IPO on the Nasdaq-style STAR Market of the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE). The Chinese solar energy solution player was listed in New York in 2006 but accepted a $1.1-billion privatisation offer.
Trina Solar now seeks to raise up to $354 million by offering 320 million common shares at a price of 8.16 yuan ($1.14) apiece, according to its filing with the SSE.
The company said it will use the proceeds to develop the 3 GW single crystalline silicon solar module, facilitate its PV power technology base in Tongchuan, upgrade its research and information centres, and meet working capital needs.