The largest pension fund in the Netherlands is investing €330m in three large solar power projects in the US.
The €396bn Dutch civil service scheme ABP said the three assets would have a combined capacity of 1,400 megawatts, sufficient to power 370,000 households.
The investment is being made through joint venture Capital Dynamics, in which the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) has a stake.
ABP said Capital Dynamics Clean Energy and Infrastructure (CEI) had strong expertise in investing, financing and operating sustainable and conventional energy companies worldwide.
Currently, CEI operates close to 2,400 megawatts of sustainable energy capacity in Europe and Northern America.
Corien Wortmann-Kool, ABP’s chair, said the investment was made as part of the scheme’s target – set in 2015 – to increase its stake in renewable energy fivefold to €5bn by 2020.
She said all solar parks have concluded long-term supply contracts with energy companies, “guaranteeing stable returns for a long period”.
The investment includes the 344 megawatt Moapa solar farm near Las Vegas in Nevada – completed last year – which is to sell its output to the Los Angeles utility company during the next 25 years.
ABP added that the project was located in an native American reservation, and that its inhabitants were closely involved and would also benefit, as the solar farm would provide hundreds of jobs.
The other two solar farms are being constructed in California, involving the third phase of an 800 megawatt project, known as Mount Signal, in Calexico, and a 381 megawatt scheme, California Flats, in Monterey County.
Both solar parks are scheduled to be completed in 2018.
Last summer, ABP bought a €125m stake in solar and wind farms in France and Germany as part of a €700m acquisition of 48 projects from the Dutch Infrastructure Fund (DIF).
The pension fund also directly invested €327m in the construction of the largest wind farm in mainland Sweden.
At the time, it said that the Åskalen project – comprising 80 turbines – would generate sufficent energy to power the equivalent of 300,000 Dutch households.