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Aquila seals first wind deal in Finland

The investment manager’s continued partnership with developer OX2 has seen it buy a 14.4MW project as Finland’s subsidy system draws to a close.

German alternatives investor Aquila Capital has marked its entry into Finland’s wind market following the acquisition of a 14.4MW project.

The investment manager agreed the deal with Swedish developer OX2, which is tasked with completing the construction of the Ykspihlaja wind farm by the start of next year.

The project is one of several wind farms set to be built this year as developers and investors rush to secure feed-in tariffs before the system expires in November. The decision by the Finnish government to end financial support for wind power came in September 2015 after receiving more applications than its intended 2GW limit.

“The Ykspihlaja wind farm is one of the last projects to benefit from the expiring Finnish green energy support scheme, from which it will receive a state-guaranteed, fixed-market premium on the electricity price in the first 12 years of operation,” said Susanne Wermter, head of special infrastructure investments at Aquila Capital.

The Finnish wind industry saw a record year in terms of installations in 2016, connecting 570MW of new projects and bringing the country’s total installed wind capacity to 1.5GW, according to trade body WindEurope. The boost marks a major increase from the 627MW installed at the end of 2014, allowing Finland to climb above Norway for commissioned wind power in the interim.

The deal represents the third tie-up between Aquila and OX2 after they agreed deals in October and November for two wind farms in the developer’s native country with a combined capacity of 212.8MW. Aquila’s chief executive Roman Rosslenbroich hailed the “great importance” of the relationship.

Aquila has an operating wind portfolio over 600MW, some 440MW of which is based in the Nordics. It also holds significant investments in solar and hydropower assets. 

“Due to the high demand for renewable energy infrastructure, a deal pipeline of attractive target investments is a decisive success factor for investment managers,” he explained.