Impax seals double Finnish wind deal

The two projects acquired in Lapland by the London-based fund manager, which is currently investing its €330m NEF Fund II, will have a combined capacity of 75MW.

Impax Asset Management, the London-headquartered fund manager, has bought two wind power projects in Lapland, Finland’s northernmost region, from Finnish energy firm Fortum and state-owned land manager Metsähallitus. The plants will have a combined capacity of 75 megawatts (MW).

The assets comprise the Kuolavaara-Keulakkopää power park, which consists of 17 plants with a planned output of around 50MW, and the Joukhaisselkä wind farm of 8 to 10 turbines, with an expected capacity of approximately 25MW. Both projects were developed jointly by Fortnum and Metsähallitus, which respectively own shares of 51 percent and 49 percent in them.

The deal, which will be implemented in phases, is expected to close during the first quarter of 2014. No financial details were disclosed for the transaction.

The investment came from Impax’s New Energy Investor Fund II, a renewable energy-focused vehicle which closed on €330 million in August 2011. The fund now has a wind power portfolio of more than 200MW in several countries around Europe, in addition to solar photovoltaic assets in Italy. Investors in the vehicle include the European Investment Bank, the State Pension Fund of Finland, British Airways’ pension scheme, the London Pension Fund Authority and Greater Manchester Pension Fund. 

The deal further diversifies NEF II’s portfolio, following Impax’s investments in French, German and Polish wind farms last year. It takes the capital deployed to over 60 percent of the fund’s original commitments.

In a statement, Daniel von Preyss, a managing director at Impax, commented: “Given the early stage of the Finnish wind market, we see this portfolio as an excellent foundation asset for our wind investment programme in the region. This is a key market for Impax and we target follow on acquisitions as the market continues to grow.”

Founded in 1998 with a mandate from the International Finance Corporation, Impax now has £2.4 billion (€2.8 billion, $3.8 billion) of assets under management. Its suite of infrastructure vehicles target companies operating in the energy, water, waste, and renewables sectors globally.