NeXtWind buys three German onshore wind parks, looks for more

FRANKFURT, June 25 (Reuters) - Investment firm NeXtWind said on Friday it had bought three onshore wind parks in northern Germany with a combined capacity of 70 megawatts (MW), a first step in its plan to invest in maturing German wind power assets.

The deal accounts for over half of the $100 million raised by the company in a financing round from institutional investors and individuals, including Crestline Investors, Ferd and ARB Investment Partners, NeXtWind said in a statement prepared for Reuters.

The company aims to allocate the rest of the money over the next 12 months, while planning more fundraisings for a second phase of spending in Germany and Europe, it said.

Ultimately, NeXtWind wants to have a 1 gigawatt (GW) portfolio of carbon-free assets.

The company aims to extend the life of green power assets, where subsidies are ending, and, where possible, raise their capacity.

The first projects comprise 34 turbines in the states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt with an average age of 14 years.

NeXtWind plans to triple the sites’ current annual output to around 300 gigawatt hours (GWh) a year by between 2024 and 2026.

Chief Investment Officer Lars Meyer said the company was looking to buy assets from owners who choose not to operate them under more market-based conditions.

“Ownership of these ageing project sites, particularly in Germany, is highly fragmented, so strong local market relationships are essential for sourcing and successfully executing investment opportunities,” he said.

The turbines’ output will be marketed under fixed price deals called power purchase agreements (PPAs), which are becoming popular among utilities’ trading arms and corporate consumers keen on becoming greener.

By 2025, up to 16 GW of German green power capacity will lose subsidy status under 20-year fixed price guarantees that are being replaced with an auction-based system. (Reporting by Vera Eckert Editing by Mark Potter)