UK GIB reaches second close for UK’s largest renewables fund

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UK GIB reaches second close for UK’s largest renewables fund

UK Green Investment Bank Financial Services Limited (GIBFS) has announced that it has executed a second close on new commitments of £355 million (US$542.5 million) for the Offshore Wind Fund.

This second close brings the total committed capital to £818 million (US$1.25 billion) and nearing its £1 billion (US$1.53 billion) target.This makes the GIBFS-managed fund the largest renewable energy fund in the UK.

Second close investors include Swedish life insurance and pension company AMF Pensionsförsäkring AB (AMF) and Strathclyde Pension Fund. The fund represents their first investments in the UK offshore wind sector. Second close investors join UK-based pension funds, a major sovereign wealth fund and UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) in the partnership, which held an initial close on £463 million earlier this year.

The fund is the first in the world to be dedicated solely to investments in offshore wind power generation and provides long-term institutional investors with the opportunity to access the UK’s green infrastructure sector.

The second close has been marked with the acquisition by the fund of GIB’s option on a 10% stake in Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm. The 576 MW wind farm located in Liverpool Bay, which was officially inaugurated in June of this year.

The fund now has three offshore wind farms that  are able to produce 2,980 GWh of renewable energy annually:

  • Rhyl Flats. A 90 MW, 25 turbine wind farm operated by RWE Innogy UK off the coast of North Wales. It has been operational since December 2009. GIB has sold its full 24.95% equity stake in the project to the Fund.
  • Sheringham Shoal. A 317 MW, 88 turbine wind farm operated by Statkraft and located in the Greater Wash area off the coast of Norfolk. It has been operational since October 2012. GIB has sold its full 20% equity stake in the project to the Fund.
  • Gwynt y Môr. A 576 MW, 160 turbine wind farm operated by RWE Innogy UK located off the coast of North Wales. It is the second-largest operating offshore wind farm in the world and has been operational since June 2015. The Fund has acquired from GIB an unconditional right to acquire a 10% equity stake in the project. That transaction is expected to complete by the end of October.

On completion of the Gwynt y Môr acquisition, more than half of the fund’s capital will be invested in income-generating assets.

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