Denmark’s AP Pension has agreed to provide Nordic and Polish renewables firm Better Energy with a €65m loan, an investment expected to deliver stable returns to the pension provider’s customers.
The parties said the money from the Danish occupational pensions mutual was to finance five solar parks in Poland with a total capacity of 237MW.
The five solar parks, which are already connected to the grid or close to it, are expected to produce enough power to cover the electricity consumption of the equivalent of around 120,000 Polish households, according to Better Energy.
Helle Ærendahl Heldbo, head of alternative investments at AP Pension, said: “Through this loan, we can make a direct impact and help accelerate the green transition in Poland.”
The DKK170bn (€22.8bn) Copenhagen-based pension fund and its members could be proud of the deal because it would ensure an increase in the supply of new renewable energy in Poland, she said.
Better Energy has received large investments from other Danish pension funds, with the country’s statutory pensions giant ATP taking a 15% stake in the firm - which has three offices in Denmark - back in December.
In February this year, Industriens Pension and Better Energy said they were expanding their joint venture established at the end of 2020 to invest around €800m in the building of some 15 new solar parks in Denmark, Sweden and Poland by the end of 2024.
AP Pension described the type of loan investment for green projects it was making with Better Energy as “a rare sight in the pension sector”, but said the deal came in the wake of a similar transaction it had announced at the beginning of May.
That investment was a €48m loan agreement with Eurowind Energy, funding that AP Pension said would enable the energy firm to continue work on its project to build solar parks in Portugal.
Ærendahl Heldbo said the loan financing for Better Energy was a long-term investment that would help deliver a stable return to its customers, while many of its customers would hopefully be pleased their pension savings were being actively put to work towards the green transition.
“For AP Pension, this investment is another step on the way to fulfilling our ambition to have invested 18% of our total assets green in 2025, and 25% in 2030,” she said, adding that at the end of 2022, 16.5% of AP Pension’s total investments had been in clean technology.
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