Aquila invests C$50m in hydro power firm

Canadian fund manager Aquila Infrastructure Management, through its Infrastructure Coalition Program – which posted a C$105m first close last year – has backed Riverbank Power Corp’s transition from developer to independent power producer.

Aquila Infrastructure Management (Aquila) has entered a partnership with Riverbank Power Corporation (Riverbank), which will see Aquila provide up to C$50 million (€39 million; $50 million) of “equity-like” financing for projects being worked on by the Toronto-based hydro-electric power developer.

The financing will support projects “currently in or near development” by Riverbank in North America, including the 7.5-megawatt (MW) Dorena Lake project near Eugene, Oregon, and a 4.7 MW project near Dillon, Montana. The two “run of river” hydro projects are being built on existing federal dams owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Bureau of Reclamation respectively. “Run of river” involves little or no water storage.

Founded in 2007, Riverbank is a developer, constructor and operator of “run of river” and pumped storage hydro generation facilities in North and South America. As well as its Toronto base, the firm has offices in Oregon, Utah and Idaho in the US as well as Peru. With a 500 MW development capacity in “run of river” and 10,000 MW in pumped storage hydro generation, the firm claims to have the largest hydro development pipeline in the world.

“Entering this agreement [with Aquila] marks a significant milestone for Riverbank as we transition from developer to independent power producer,” says John Douglas, chief executive of Riverbank, in a statement.

Formed in 2009 and also based in Toronto, Aquila is the manager of the Infrastructure Coalition Program, which posted a C$105 million first close in October last year. At the time, Aquila chief executive Alina Osorio said the fund could reach C$500 million to C$750 million within the following 18 months to two years.

The Infrastructure Coalition Program has a 20-year term and a mandate to invest in core infrastructure assets in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries globally. The concept for the program was devised by a number of Canadian pensions and institutional investors who came together to pool resources and hire an experienced manager.