Desjardins pension, developer in $243m French wind deal

The Canadian institution has teamed up with regular partner Innergex to buy three projects with a capacity of 119.5MW from a subsidiary of Riverstone.

Toronto-listed renewable energy developer Innergex has once again joined forces with Canada’s Desjardins Group Pension Plan to acquire three wind farms in France worth a total C$334.6 million ($243 million; €221.7 million).

The pair bought the 119.5MW portfolio from Velocita Energy Developments, a UK-based developer owned by private equity firm Riverstone Holdings. In a structure used in some of the duo’s previous deals together, Innergex will own 69.55 percent of the portfolio and Desjardins will own the remaining 30.45 percent.

The two firms jointly paid C$76.2 million for the equity of the projects, while the wind farms have debt already in place totalling C$258.4 million. Some 97.3MW of the portfolio has already completed construction and the remainder will be fully commissioned by the end of the year.

“Following our strategic plan, our expansion continues in international markets with the acquisition of these three projects,” said Michel Letellier, chief executive of Innergex. “France is an exciting market as it has adopted vigorous climate change targets and has a potential to double its onshore wind capacity by 2023.”

Innergex and Desjardins last teamed up in February for a 44MW acquisition in France in a partnership stretching back several years. Both alongside the pension fund and in investments without it, Innergex has a 994MW portfolio across France and Canada consisting of hydropower facilities and wind farms, as well as one solar project.

Desjardins has over C$11 billion in assets under management and has invested more than C$1 billion in renewables, making up half of its infrastructure portfolio.