CDPQ lends $60m to Quebec wind farm

The Canadian pension is already one of the largest equity investors in the North American wind sector.

CDPQ has provided a $59.5 million term loan to a 68MW wind farm in Quebec.

The money provided by CDPQ will help developer TransAlta Renewables fund operations at the New Richmond facility in Gaspésie, a C$205 million ($155 million; €141 million) project that was completed in 2013. The plant is under a long-term power-purchase agreement with local utility Hydro-Quebec.

CDPQ, a C$248 billion pension fund manager, is one of the largest private investors in North America's wind sector, though it had so far largely kept to deploying equity in projects. The facilities the Montreal-based institution has previously funded include the 135.7MW Parc des Moulins and 101.2MW Vents du Kempt wind farms, both in Quebec.

“La Caisse, who already has a number of wind power projects in its portfolio, both here and abroad, contributes today to another important renewable energy project for Québec,” CDQP's vice-president for fixed income Marc Cormier said in a statement. “This financing will provide our clients with stable long-term returns in a promising sector.”

Outside of its own wind investments, CDPQ has a major interest in North American renewables developer Invenergy, which operates a portfolio generating more than 5GW. It also holds a 25 percent stake in the London Array, a 630MW offshore wind farm off the British coast.

In April, CDPQ announced it was consolidating its infrastructure investment activities under CDPQ Infra, a new subsidiary, to boost its investment in the sector and build its operational expertise as an owner-operator of major projects.