Ardian’s Nordic renewables platform secures its first PPA

The objective is to build eNordic into a €3bn holding with a generation capacity of 1.6GW over the next five years.  

Ardian has signed a 10-year power purchase agreement with Swedish power company Skelleftea Kraft, the Paris-based fund manager said, announcing at the same time the official launch of its Nordic sustainable energy platform, eNordic.

Under the terms of the agreement, Skelleftea Kraft, which Ardian described as one of the largest energy producers in the country, has agreed to purchase nearly one-third (250GWh) of the power produced by the 280MW Andberg wind farm in Sweden.

The project, which is currently under construction by Swedish renewable energy developer OX2, and which Ardian acquired in March for €300 million, will generate roughly 800GWh per year once it’s operational in 2022.

“It’s a fantastic outcome,” Amir Sharifi, managing director at Ardian Infrastructure, told Infrastructure Investor, referring to the PPA and noting that these types of contracts are “scarce” in the Nordic region.

“It is exactly the kind of long-term partnerships we’re looking for, so we’re very pleased with that,” said Simo Santavirta, Ardian Infrastructure’s head of asset management.

Asked what attracted Ardian to the Nordics, Santavirta replied, “The Nordic market is very interesting for us because, unlike some other markets, investments in renewables are no longer requiring direct subsidies.”

“The absence of subsidies removes any form of political or regulatory risk that is usually linked to that fixed subsidy,” Sharifi added. “This means that the investment is standing on its own merits, which makes it more sustainable in the long term.”

Ardian has launched a similar platform in the US. In March 2018, it partnered with Transatlantic Power Holdings to launch Skyline Renewables, a platform that aims to build a 3GW portfolio of operating and greenfield renewable assets by 2022.

However, eNordic and Skyline Renewables are slightly different. Aside from the former having a smaller target of building a 1.6GW portfolio, Skyline is focused on green generation assets.

“The concept is that [eNordic could invest in] district heating assets that are using biomass as a fuel, for example,” Sharifi explained. “Or [it could invest in] energy production, transmission, networks or even utilities.

“We are open to all of those, but the key selection criteria for the best opportunities is that it should be sustainable,” Sharifi added.

In addition to the Andberg wind farm, eNordic’s portfolio also includes a 51.8MW wind farm in Norway and a 76MW wind farm in Sweden, in which Ardian invested in 2016. Both projects became operational last year.