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Mumbai: EverSource Capital, the joint venture between private equity firm Everstone Capital and global solar project developer Lightsource BP, is looking to invest over $1 billion in renewable energy investments through its Green Growth Equity Fund, said a senior company executive.The National Investments and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) of India and the UK government are anchor investors in Green Growth Equity Fund.

“We have done the anchor close. UK’s DFID and NIIF and, we as GP (general partner), have committed significant capital. So, we are at $340-350 million, and close to 50% of our target. We have now started the process to reach out to investors both in India and outside of India. The target is to raise around $700 million," said Dhanpal Jhaveri, managing partner, Everstone Capital and chief executive officer (CEO), EverSource Capital.

This platform will have a minimum commitment of a billion dollars, through the fund and through co-investments, Jhaveri added.

EverSource’s mandate is to make green investments largely around decarbonization of energy and its uses, including transportation, which differentiates it from other infra-focused investors operating in India, and are looking only at heavy assets such as wind and solar power firms.

“Energy decarbonization is centered around using renewable as a source, whether it be solar, wind, offshore wind or hybrid, and provide it as clean energy to customers. In transportation, there is likely to be a rapid transition to electric mobility as costs of battery decrease. So, we are looking at investing in all those spaces. There is also the added agenda of investing in resource conservation, waste to energy, energy efficiency, water treatment, recycling, etc." Jhaveri said.

Last month, EverSource had made its maiden investment, jointly infusing $330 million, along with NIIF and UK’s CDC, into Ayana Renewables.

According to Jhaveri, the capital being invested in Ayana will largely go towards funding its growth. “We already have a 500 MW pipeline. We think that with this capital we can go in excess of 4-5 GW." He added that the combination of EverSource, NIIF and CDC will ensure access to low cost capital for Ayana.

“If you look at the key elements the renewable industry needs, one is access to low-cost capital. If you look at the quality of sponsors, with CDC, NIIF and Eversource, we have the best institutional sponsors to attract lowest-cost capital. Second is deep operational capability to develop and operate these assets. The EverSource joint venture with Lightsource, which is one of the top renewable energy developers globally, and the team within Ayana itself, which has a successful track record, we think it is a fantastic combination in terms of capability to scale these platforms very rapidly," said Jhaveri.

Ayana will look at both greenfield development and acquisitions to scale up the platform. “Over the next 5-7 years there are a lot of exit strategies that we can pursue—listing, InvITs, bring in a large strategic partner. Over a period of time these will be independently managed utilities like we have seen in other sectors," Jhaveri said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Swaraj Singh Dhanjal

" Based in Mumbai, Swaraj Singh Dhanjal is responsible for Mint’s corporate news coverage. For the past eight years he has been writing on the biggest deals in private equity, venture capital, IPO market and corporate mergers and acquisitions. An engineer and an MBA, he started his journalism career in 2014 with Mint. "
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