Brookfield Renewable inaugural green bond raises $475m

Proceeds will be used to refinance a hydroelectric portfolio and build new assets from Brookfield Asset Management’s second infrastructure fund.

Brookfield Renewable Partners said it is seeking up to $475 million through its inaugural green bond issuance to refinance debt for a hydroelectric portfolio in Maine and to help build new projects.

Brookfield, one of the world’s largest renewables operators, secured the bond against its 380MW, 21-facility White Pine hydroelectric portfolio. The bonds are non-amortising and were issued at a 4.4 percent rate due in 2032, sold as a private placement in Canada and the US.

A division of Toronto-based private equity giant Brookfield Asset Management, Brookfield cited its commitment to clean energy development for the bond’s issuance. It received the highest green evaluation score from ratings agency S&P, which said it expects the “entire offering to be applied to green energy projects” considering the nature of Brookfield and its renewables investment mandate.

Around 74 percent of green bond proceeds will be used to refinance the hydroelectric portfolio. Remaining funds will be used to offset capital expenditure and development of other projects in the BAM-operated Brookfield Infrastructure fund II.

The $7 billion vehicle closed in 2013 and has mostly focused on hydroelectric and wind assets when investing in renewables. The projects it funded are located in the US, Brazil and Europe.

Brookfield has a 50 percent interest in the hydroelectric portfolio, with the other half held by investors in its parent company’s second infrastructure fund.

Brookfield holds wind and hydroelectric investments in North America, Europe and Latin America, with total capacity topping 10GW at the end of last year. Earlier this year, it committed around $500 million in Brookfield Asset Management's deal to acquire TerraForm Power and TerraForm Global.