Legal & General has made its first investment in an offshore wind farm by providing around £300m (€336m) of debt financing for the £2bn Walney Extension project.
The investment will help fund the acquisition of a 50% stake in the UK offshore wind farm, jointly owned by Ørsted and Danish pension funds PKA and PFA.
Earlier this month, green energy company Ørsted signed an agreement to sell 50% of Walney Extension, a 659 megawatt UK offshore wind farm project to a consortium. PKA and PFA will each obtain a 25% ownership interest in the project.
The UK insurer said today Legal & General Investment Management’s real asset division was an anchor investor, structuring and providing both commercial debt and Export Credit Agency wrapped debt.
L&G said the Walney deal represents its first debt investment in the UK offshore wind sector and its second largest infrastructure debt investment, after the £400m London Gateway Port refinancing in 2016.
The deal was financed by LGIM Real Assets on behalf of their clients, including L&G’s retirement arm LGR. LGR was the principal investor for LGIM Real Assets on the transaction, providing £250m of the around £300m of long-term acquisition debt.
Charles-Henry Lecointe, senior investment manager at LGIM Real Assets, said: “We have a strong appetite for future investments into this sector as well as other renewable sectors, recognising the importance the offshore wind industry can have for providing clean energy and stimulating job growth in the UK.
“Legal & General continues to be committed to investing in key UK infrastructure assets which will have a major impact on stimulating economic growth while ensuring long-term cash flow for pension funds.”
Last week, Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) also made its first wind farm investment by providing £115m debt financing to help fund the Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm project in the UK.
Walney Extension, which is currently under construction, will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm when commissioned in the second half of 2018.