The UK’s Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) is investing €225m for a 50% stake in a Spanish solar energy platform owned by Canadian pension fund OPTrust and Spanish businessman Juan Béjar.

USS, the largest private pension fund in the UK by assets, has bought a share in a 4000MW solar farms held by Bruc Energy. BROP, a vehicle owned by OPTrust and Béjar will own the remaining 50% stake in Bruc Energy.

The £68bn (€79bn) UK pension scheme’s investment is being made via its investment manager USS Investment Management.

USS’s latest deal strengthens an already existing relationship with both Canadian pension fund OPTrust and Bejar through their global transport infrastructure investment company Globalvia.

USS Investment Management CEO, Simon Pilcher, said USS have already invested or committed around £1bn to renewable energy and demand for this will only increase as more and more countries transition to lower carbon.

“We know that our members care very much about climate change and ESG and we are convinced that USS playing its part in supporting the transition to a low carbon economy makes good financial sense, too.

“This announcement closely follows on from our stated ambition to become net-zero by 2050 so this transaction and others like it will be a key plank of our strategy going forward.”

Gavin Merchant, co-head of direct equity at USS, said: “We have worked alongside OPTrust and Juan Béjar for many years and are delighted to be making this investment. The long-term nature of solar and the steady returns make renewables attractive to a pension scheme needing to pay pensions for years to come.”

OPTrust’s Morgan McCormick, managing director, private markets group UK said: “We are excited to have USS join Bruc Energy building on our strong existing relationship. Their investment will help Bruc become one of the leading renewable energy platforms in Spain.”

Béjar said: “This partnership is a key step to establishing Bruc as one of the more dynamic players in the renewables industry in Spain, because it ensures access to the funds to develop our current portfolio.

”All three shareholders of Bruc Energy share a long-term vision, but also the ambition and the social responsibility to counter the effects of climate change in the short-term.”

Bruc Energy is a Spain and Portugal renewables-focussed investment vehicle created by OPTrust and Béjar. The company intends to invest in other green energies, such as wind power.

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