New Zealand Raises International Capital to Support Solar Energy Drive

New Zealand Green Investment Finance (NZGIF) has led a NZ$170 million capital raise, attracting international investors First Sentier Investors and Natixis Investment Managers, to launch its newly created NZGIF Solar Finance programme.

The Climate Bonds Initiative-certified solar loan will initially finance New Zealand’s largest residential PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) portfolio, managed by solarZero.

NZGIF developed the solar loan programme and completed the capital raise, attracting NZ$90 million of private capital from First Sentier Investors and Natixis Investment Managers alongside its own investment of NZ$80 million.

NZGIF Solar Finance is NZGIF’s first private debt placement with international co-investors and provides the long-term, fixed-rate debt that is required to accelerate distributed solar in New Zealand.

The NZGIF Solar Finance programme is the first issuance by a New Zealand-based financial institution to secure Climate Bonds Initiative certification.

This certification for climate-aligned debt instruments is awarded by the Climate Bonds Initiative following a science-based assessment of the programme’s sustainability attributes. The certification is used globally by bond issuers, governments, and investors to prioritise investments which genuinely contribute to addressing climate change.

Solar energy is rapidly transforming New Zealand’s energy landscape, both through new grid-connected solar farms and through distributed solar installations on homes, schools, farms, and businesses.

“We are delighted to partner with NZGIF and solarZero to support homeowners in accessing solar power. The structure of this transaction was innovative, and we liked that this initiative took a whole-of-country approach to reducing emissions associated with electricity usage.”

“As an investor with a strong focus on sustainable finance and its potential positive long-term impacts, we look forward to contributing to New Zealand’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the future,” said Craig Morabito, Senior Portfolio Manager of Global Credit at First Sentier Investors.