Allianz acquires German solar parks

The insurer’s purchase of a 55MW facility is one of a few large-scale PV deals likely to happen in Germany after last August’s changes to the country’s renewables regime.

Allianz Global Investors, the investment arm of German insurer Allianz, has bought Green Tower II and III, two photovoltaic (PV) ground-mounted parks located in Brandenburg, Germany.

The plants are located on Preschen, a former military airbase, and have a total capacity of roughly 55 megawatts (MW). It is the first solar acquisition in Germany by Allianz Global Investors, which otherwise had previously bought solar parks in Italy and the UK.

The investment will be funded via the Allianz Renewable Energy Fund (AREF), a €150 million vehicle launched by the firm in 2012 and closed in September 2013. The deal is the fund’s sixth since December 2013, following its purchase of nine German wind farms from Dutch fund manager DIF last week.

“Changes in the renewable energy act make the future development and construction of such big PV ground mounted parks in Germany unlikely. We are therefore especially pleased that we were able to secure such a profitable project for our investors,” said Armin Sandhövel, chief investment officer for infrastructure equity at Allianz Global Investors, in a statement.

The amended German Renewable Energy Sources Act, which came into effect on 1 August, imposed a limit on the number of renewables capacity built every year and introduced drastic changes to the tariff structure, essentially reducing the number of projects able to receive market premium and lowering the overall level of state support. The intent of the reform was to set Germany on a more market-based path toward renewable energy capacity growth.

Allianz’s portfolio now includes 52 wind farms in Germany, Italy, France and Sweden with 1.012 gigawatts (GW) installed capacity as well as nine solar parks in Germany, Italy and France totaling 129MW.