Panda running ahead of debut with $535.5 Mln for second power fund

Firm: Panda Power Funds

Fund: Panda Power Fund II LP

Target: $800 million

Amount raised: $535.5 million

Placement Agent: Beacon Hill Financial

Panda Power Fund II comes after the firm’s first fund, Panda Power Generation Infrastructure Fund, held its final close in November 2011 with $420 million in commitments.

Boston-based Beacon Hill Financial served as placement agent for Panda Power Fund II LP as well as Panda Power Generation Infrastructure Fund.

Robert Carter, managing director and CEO of Panda Power Funds, founded Panda Energy in 1982 as an independent power development company, according to the firm’s website. Panda Power Fund kicked off in 2010 as a separate firm with former senior management team members of Panda Energy.

Along with Robert Carter, general partners at Panda Power Funds include Todd Carter, Ralph Killian, William Nordlund, and Robert Simmons. The team’s resume includes the two largest natural gas-fueled power plants ever built in the United States — the 2,250 megawatt Gila Bend, Ariz. and the 2,250-megawatt Eldorado, Ark. generating stations.

In 2011, the Panda Power Fund developed and built one of the largest solar power stations in the Northeastern United States, the 20-megawatt Pilesgrove Solar Farm in New Jersey, a joint project with Panda Power Funds and ConEdison.

Panda Power Funds said Dec. 20 it completed the acquisition and financing of Moxie Energy’s planned 829-megawatt natural gas-fueled Patriot generating station in Pennsylvania. When completed, it’ll be the second new power plant in the Keystone State after Panda’s Liberty power plant. Both were developed to take advantage of the state’s energy production from the nearby Marcellus shale. Panda expects commercial operations to begin by the middle of 2016.

Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Ares Capital, Union Bank and Investec acted as joint lead arrangers for the senior debt financing of the plant. Panda Patriot raised a total of $642 million in debt capital for the plant.