Eversource buys ex investment banker’s biz, enters solar rooftop space


MUMBAI: EverSource Capital, a JV between PE firm Everstone Capital and Lightsource BP, has acquired Origin Renewables – a company which is into solar rooftop space, as part of entering the rooftop focused commercial and industrial (C&I) business.

Origin, which develops and invests in solar rooftop and other renewable projects on a Operational Expenditure (OPEX) or Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) model, was owned by Manikkan Sangameswaran, a former investment banker worked with Babcock & Brown, ABN AMRO and UBS Securities.

Origin had implemented solar rooftop projects with a capacity of 515 kWp for commercial and industrial (C&I) customers with a potential pipeline of over 50MWp. Manikkan who is currently the executive director of Radiance Renewables, had previously worked as the President- Infrastructure of ICICI Venture and co-headed the Infrastructure fund, focused on investment opportunities in energy, transport and renewable sectors.

This is the third investment by Eversource Capital, since it was formed in April 2018. The investments are being done through The Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF), managed by EverSource Capital, designed to promote sustainable energy projects. The UK Government and India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) are the investors and committed over £240 million as anchor capital.

In September, the fund had set up Radiance Renewables – as a private equity owned developer of renewable energy solutions for commercial, industrial and residential customers in India, with investing primary equity capital of Rs.300 crore. As a 100% subsidiary of the Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF), Radiance targets to create over 1.5 GW of renewable energy capacity in India over the next 4 years based on a develop, build, own and operate strategy.

Currently, Radiance manage 80 MWp and developing over 150 MWp across the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. Radiance is also partnering with some of India’s top corporate and industrial customers who aim to achieve their sustainability goals by large scale adoption of renewable energy, added sources.

Primarily operate as a Renewable Energy Services Company (RESCO – providing customers with OPEX solutions for their energy procurement), Radiance has also joined hands with solar technology players, regulatory advisors, EPC and O&M companies to develop and operate its projects.

In a similar move, global infrastructure investment manager I Squared Capital had invested about $150 million in Amplus Energy Solutions, which owns and operates distributed rooftop solar in India in 2015.

Amplus, which owns and manages a portfolio of more than 650 MWp of distributed solar assets in India, was acquired by Malaysia’s state-run oil and gas company, Petronas for Rs.2700 crore last year. With setting up both on-site solar projects (rooftop and ground-mounted) and off-site solar farms, Amplus has a portfolio of 180 commercial and industrial customers across diverse verticals in the country.

In February last year, EverSource Capital had acquired a significant minority stake in Ayana, the renewable energy platform founded by UK based CDC for $330 million.

Radiance is launched for providing renewable energy solutions to commercial and industrial customers. and it leverages on Evesource’s parentage, Lightsource BP and Everstone Capital,” said Dhanpal Jhaveri, CEO, Eversource Capital without disclosing further details.

Last year, Satish Mandhana, former Managing Partner at IDFC Alternatives, was hired as the Senior Managing Director & CIO of Eversource Capital.

GGEF has a target fund corpus of $ 700 million and its first close of $340 million was achieved in April 2018.

India’s renewable capacity installations reached 86 GW as of 31 December, 2019, where wind energy became the biggest contributor with 44 per cent share in the total renewable energy mix followed by solar with 39 per cent share, according to research firm JMK Research and Analytics.

Renewable energy capacity addition will be remained at about 8.5 – 9.0 GW for FY2020, which is similar to the capacity added in FY2019. The share of RE based generation in the overall generation mix at all India level is rising, as seen from an increase from 5.6% in FY2015 to 9.2% in FY2019. The share of RE is expected to reach closer to 10% in FY2020, ICRA report added.