The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) is taking a 25% stake in a US solar firm.

The pension fund will hold one-quarter of Desert Sunlight Investment Holdings, which owns two solar photovoltaic power-generation facilities near Palm Springs, California.

The facilities began operating in late 2014 with a capacity of 550 MW, selling output to California utility companies under long-term contracts.

Ted Eliopoulos, CalPERS CIO, said: “Desert Sunlight presents a great opportunity for CalPERS, allowing us to invest both in California and in clean, renewable energy. 

“Infrastructure has been one of our best-performing programmes and is an important part of the CalPERS portfolio.”

Sumitomo Corporation of Americas is selling the stake through its Gulf Pacific Power (GPP) account, a partnership between the Pension System and Harbert Management Corporation.

GPP was formed to make equity investments in North American power assets.

Not including Desert Sunlight, investments in California infrastructure assets total around $118m.