Partners Group has agreed to invest over $200m as the controlling shareholder in a Taiwanese solar power development platform on behalf of its clients.
Cathay Life Insurance, Taiwan's largest insurer and a subsidiary of Cathay Financial Holdings, is also acquiring a minority stake in the platform through a Partners Group-managed vehicle. The platform has entered into an agreement with Sinogreenergy ("SGE"), a Taiwanese developer of photovoltaic (PV) power plants, to develop a portfolio of up to 550MW of solar power plants across Taiwan over the next three years.
Partners Group and SGE have already sourced a number of sites throughout Taiwan for the development of rooftop and ground-mounted solar plants and have others in due diligence. Once completed, the portfolio will be supported by a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with the state-owned utility. Partners Group and SGE have entered into their development agreement at a time of greatly increased support for the use of solar energy in Taiwan, with the recently elected government stating its intention to triple the solar power installation target from 6.2GW to 20GW by 2025.
Partners Group managing director and Asia-Pacific private infrastructure head Benjamin Haan said: "We believe this is a great opportunity to build a sizeable solar power platform in one of Asia's largest and most sophisticated economies. Our investment comes at an inflection point in the Taiwanese renewable energy sector."
Partners Group private infrastructure Asia-Pacific senior vice president Andrew Kwok said: "The newly elected government's solar energy targets coupled with the re-zoning of idle agricultural land for solar ground-mount installation will provide the necessary scale and support for our platform. We look forward to helping the government achieve its commitment to supporting the renewable sector in Taiwan."
The partnership with SGE will be Partners Group's third significant solar platform investment in the last two years on behalf of its clients. Earlier in 2016, Partners Group invested USD 100 million in Silicon Ranch Corporation, a US developer, owner and operator of solar power production facilities.
In 2014, the firm invested in Japan Solar, a solar platform established to build utility-scale solar power plants across Japan. In addition to these transactions, Partners Group has made three other solar sector investments globally since 2010 on behalf of its clients. The transaction in Taiwan is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016, subject to the fulfillment of certain closing conditions.