GLOBAL – Canadian pension fund manager La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (La Caisse) is buying a 25% stake in the London Array – the biggest offshore wind farm in the world – for £644m (€782m).
The Canadian manager, which has $185.9bn in net assets, is buying half of the 50% stake in the power installation owned by Denmark’s DONG Energy.
Macky Tall, senior vice-president for infrastructure at La Caisse, said: “This is an opportunity for us to invest, alongside established partners, in a quality asset in a growth-driven sector.”
The fund manager is investing in the project with a long-term horizon and expects to generate attractive returns for many years, he said.
The two parties also said they agreed a long-term transfer agreement for the power production and green certificates arising from La Caisse’s share of the wind farm, known as London Array 1.
They said the deal was still subject to various conditions and approval from relevant authorities, but was expected to complete in the first half of this year.
DONG Energy said it was selling the stake as part of an action plan it announced a year ago to secure its finances.
Reducing its ownership shares in wind projects was a central part of its business model, DONG Energy said.
Samuel Leupold, executive vice-president at DONG Energy Wind Power, said: “Our strategy is to continuously enter into partnership agreements with industrial and financial partners to extract part of the value creation from our projects, share the risk in our portfolio and attract capital to be able to continue to invest in new offshore wind farms.”
The London Array is located about 20km off the coasts of Kent and Essex on a 245km2 site.
It includes 175 turbines with a combined capacity of 630MW.
The consortium behind the UK wind farm includes E.ON with a 30% stake and Masdar with a 20% stake, as well as DONG Energy and La Caisse.