Hudson Clean Energy Joins Raft of Infrastructure-Focused Firms

Private equity firm Hudson Clean Energy Partners announced this week the launch of its first solar infrastructure fund, the Hudson Solar Infrastructure Program.

The Teaneck, New Jersey-based firm is managed by Neil Auerbach, former Golman Sachs partner, and John Cavalier, the former vice chairman of Credit Suisse’s investment banking division.

With the unveiling of its new fund, which will raise up to $150 million for investments in solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation projects around the world, Hudson has helped to solidify a trend emerging in the wider clean energy investment space: increasingly, investors are all about clean energy infrastructure.

In July, when San Francisco-based research and advisory firm Cleantech Group released figures summarizing investment in the cleantech space during the second quarter of 2013, its researchers pointed to an uptick in solar project funding as a notable trend. Indeed, the last few months have brought various pieces of news on infrastructure investing, in solar projects and elsewhere in the cleantech sector: in late July, Dow Jones reported that Glennmont Partners, the London-based private equity firm, had begun raising capital for a $665 million fund that would invest in clean-energy infrastructure projects like wind farms, biomass power stations, solar parks, and small hydro power plants.

In July, on the public side, The Renewables Infrastructure Group, a Guernsey-based investment company focused on onshore wind and solar photovoltaic energy infrastructure, raised $460 million in the U.K.’s biggest-ever clean-energy company IPO, reported Bloomberg.

And in April, Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital went public, raising $200 million. The firm organized as a REIT to invest in a wide range of sustainable infrastructure, including renewable energy projects, energy efficiency financing, and water, says the Cleantech Group.

For its part, Hudson Clean Energy is no stranger to sizable private investments in clean energy projects; it launched its global clean energy market product offering in 2007 with a private equity fund boasting more than $1 billion under management. The firm’s past investments include SunEdison, Recurrent Energy, and Element Power Solar, according to the firm’s press release on the new fund.

The managers of the new solar infrastructure fund will seek to “provide our investors access to high-quality solar PV projects that generate a steady stream of long-term cash flows at attractive, risk-adjusted yields,” said Daniel von der Schulenburg, Hudson Vice President and program manager for the new fund, in a statement. He added: “In contrast to many other funds, we are willing to fund the construction phase as well as acting as long-term project equity in solar PV projects across the globe. We look forward to … seizing new opportunities in the market.”

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