Greater Manchester infrastructure venture buys wind farm

The infrastructure venture established by two UK local authority funds has invested £150m (€193m) in a local wind farm, its second acquisition.

GMPF & LPFA Infrastructure – founded by Greater Manchester Pension Fund and the London Pensions Fund Authority – acquired a 49.9% stake in the Scottish onshore wind farm alongside the Greencoat UK Wind fund, with the remaining stake being held by energy company SSE. 

The Clyde wind farm consists of three separate installations, with a generating capacity of about 350 megawatts.

However, SSE is expanding the project, boosting capacity by around 173 megawatts.

On completion of the extension, owned by SSE, the stake jointly owned by GMPF & LPFA Infrastructure and Greencoat will fall to 30%.

Kieran Quinn, chair of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, said he was pleased with the deal, building on the joint venture’s existing renewables portfolio.

The £500m venture’s first investment was to commit £60m to renewable energy projects, investing through Iona Capital.

Lancashire County Pension Fund, which partnered with the LPFA to pool assets but did not join the infrastructure venture, last year also invested in a Portuguese wind farm

Quinn said he looked forward to announcing future investments and attracting other local authority funds to the venture, which will target UK assets.

Its numbers are expected to be boosted through support from Merseyside Pension Fund and West Yorkshire Pension Fund, which have committed to pool assets with GMPF as part of a reform of the English and Welsh local government pension sector.

Each of the two schemes is expected to invest £250m into the infrastructure joint venture, boosting its capital to £1bn.

However, GMPF also noted that a fellow £32bn pool, the Border to Coast partnership founded by East Riding Pension Fund, was said to be in talks to collaborate with the venture.

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