John Laing makes second US renewables purchase

Developer takes 90.5% stake in Texas windfarm development.

The John Laing Group has made its second investment in the US renewable energy sector, acquiring a 90.5 percent stake in a wind farm under development in central Texas.

The London-based infrastructure developer and operator purchased the 1.2GW Buckthorn Wind Power Project from NRG Energy for an undisclosed amount. RBC Capital Markets is providing construction financing and tax equity. The project is expected to be operational by the end of this year and will have its output purchased through 20-year corporate power-purchase agreements.

The deal comes a week after Paul Lester, chairman of the company’s investment vehicle, John Laing Infrastructure Fund, announced he will leave the business at the end of September. Lester has chaired the fund since its launch in 2010, but his departure is now part of a phasing out of the fund’s original board members – a strategy announced two months ago. JLIF co-founder Andrew Charlesworth left the company in May.

John Laing has been increasing its exposure to infrastructure over the past year after building a portfolio of stakes in core assets, including the A1 Road project in Poland and the Denver Eagle Transit project. JLIF now has a portfolio worth about £1.2 billion ($1.54 billion; €1.35 billion).

The firm made its first investment in the US renewables space last October with a $20.5 million investment in a 29.9MW wind farm in New Mexico. Last September, John Laing purchased a 30 percent stake in a 110.7MW German offshore wind project.