Innova Solar Colombia

Innova Capital Partners to develop floating solar projects in Colombia

New York-based family office Innova Capital Partners (ICP) has entered into a joint venture with a French technology provider to develop floating solar projects in Colombia.

With ICP subsidiary Innova Solar Colombia acting as local developer and investor on the projects, the firm will partner with floating solar PV developer Ciel & Terre. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The intention will be to seek agreements with the owners of private dam and hydro facilities as well as water utilities and other local partners to locate solar PV generation facilities on Colombian reservoirs,” Mukesh Prasad, director at ICP, told Inframation.

With locations throughout the Americas, Innova Capital Partners is a family office that invests in “triple bottom line” opportunities – economically, environmentally and socially productive projects that provide a reasonable return.

Prasad told Inframation that while the firm is not currently seeking funding, it is looking at future investment opportunities in Peru and in the rest of the Americas, particularly in Colombia and Mexico.

ICP typically takes equity stakes in the projects it selects for investment. In the past, it has worked with financial investors. In April 2016, ICP formed a joint venture with US investment bank Goldman Sachs to invest in Colombian telecom company Golden Comunicaciones, which designs and constructs mobile telephone towers in Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America.

In December 2016, ICP co-invested alongside Colombian private equity rm Fondo de Capital Privado de Emprendimiento e Innovación SP (FCP), a USD 40m fund sponsored by Colombian public utility Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) and administered by Credicorp Capital Colombia, in Colombia’s ERCO Energía, an EPC solar PV project specialist.

According to Prasad, the firm does not like to operate fund vehicles to finance its investments because it does not want to hold assets tied to a strict mandate.

“The firm sees amazing opportunities in the Americas that can lead to economic development while investors hold the assets to appropriate returns,” Prasad said. According to a press statement from ICP, “there are a large number of reservoirs with appropriate infrastructure for the development of this type of project…Colombia currently has 62 reservoirs classified as large dams… (and) the 20 largest reservoirs in Colombia occupy an area of 53,495 hectares.”

The firrm is represented in Colombia by local law firrm Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta (GPZ).

Ciel & Terre was established in 2006 as a specialist in photovoltaic systems, in 2011 developed the first patented and industrialized water-based PV concept Hydrelio. This solution consists of installing PV modules on inland and artificial water bodies to produce energy in a more efficient way. The approach also helps avoid land use conflicts.