CalPERS buys stake in wind farms to expand renewable energy holdings

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is acquiring an 80% stake in Rocky Caney Holdings, the owner of two wind farms in US, for an undisclosed sum.

CalPERS said the cash equity stake was acquired from Enel Green Power North America.

Enel will retain the remaining 20% and will continue to manage, operate and maintain the wind farms.

They include the Caney River facility in Elk County, Kansas, a 200MW facility that began commercial operations in late-2011, selling all of its output to the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The other is Rocky Ridge, a 149MW facility that began commercial operations in early-2012, selling its output to Western Farmers Electric Cooperative. Both facilities sell their output under long-term contracts.

Ted Eliopoulos, CalPERS chief investment officer, said: “This is a great opportunity for CalPERS to expand our renewable energy holdings.

“The wind farms are not only an important source of clean energy, they also meet the strategic role of our real assets programme.”

CalPERS made the investment through the Gulf Pacific Power (GPP) account, an existing partnership between CalPERS and Harbert Management Corporation.

GPP pursues North American power assets, and includes a dedicated mandate for renewables, which CalPERS is seeking to grow further.

Rocky Caney Wind is the second renewables investment for GPP and follows the earlier acquisitions of Desert Sunlight, a 550MW solar photovoltaic power generation facility in eastern Riverside County, California.

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