Evolution One Fund exits four renewable energy assets

January 25, 2017

Inspired Evolution, a South African clean energy and resource efficiency specialised fund manager, has exited a number of its renewable energy investments held in its Evolution One Fund portfolio.

Evolution One is a $90m specialised fund that completed its final close in 2010, capitalised by local and offshore investors.

The focus was on clean energy and environment sectors, backing proven technologies and strong teams in infrastructure-type investments and related value chains.

Evolution One’s stake in three of the assets was sold to an entity controlled by clients of TriAlpha Investment Management, facilitated by Gaia, an active secondary market player in the infrastructure sector.

These were the 5MW Slimsun Swartland Solar Park, the 80MW Kouga Wind Farm, and an indirect interest in Fifth Season (a black empowerment holding company) that holds a stake in the 75MW Solar Capital De Aar solar photovoltaic project.

Evolution One’s indirect stake in the fourth asset, the 138.6MW Cookhouse Wind Farm, was sold to Old Mutual Life Assurance Company, the latter an existing shareholder.

This sale of a combined 300 MW of operating clean energy power plants has materially contributed to the stellar return performance for Inspired Evolution’s investors against comparable global 2008 vintage fund benchmarks.

Its returns make it one of the stand-out performers in its specialised clean energy and climate-related sector, globally.

The successful exit of these four assets and other earlier exits has allowed Inspired Evolution to return Evolution One’s entire capital back to its investors – all in just over six-years from its final close.

Christopher Clarke, Co-Managing Partner of Inspired Evolution, sees the sale as a major milestone.

“We are delighted that the substantial time and effort invested to actively develop greenfield renewable projects with our joint venture development partners, to successfully de-risk them through construction and commissioning, and then to optimise asset and environmental and social performance during operations in preparation for an exit to the secondary market, has paid off,” he said.

“The competitive sale process run has been complex in this highly regulated sector, but the result is reflective of the team’s value add, and the bankability of the South African renewables initiative,” he added.

Inspired Evolution has built a credible track record having been involved in 913MW of renewable energy generation projects with multiple successes under a fiercely-contested procurement environment.

The fund manager is now pursuing a pipeline of new clean energy projects across sub-Saharan Africa at various stages of development.

“We are looking to adapt and replicate our successful active investment management approach, strengthening our position as a leading equity partner in the region with proven credentials,” said Clarke. Source: Africa Global Funds