PensionDanmark bets on UK wind

The pension has paid £153m for nearly half of six British wind farms, bringing its total investment in infrastructure to more than $1.8bn.

PensionDanmark, an institution that manages the assets of three Danish labour market pension funds, has bought a 49 percent stake in six UK wind parks.
The transaction will see the fund pay around £153 million (€184 million; $250 million) to Falck Renewables, an Italian renewable energy developer. Still subject to conditions and approvals, it is expected to be completed within the first quarter of 2014.

The acquisition will be made via Copenhagen Infrastructure I, a vehicle managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) in which PensionDanmark is the sole limited partner (LP).

The six farms are located in Wales and Scotland and have a total capacity of 273 megawatts (MW), which PensionDanmark says is enough to power 160,000 UK homes. The companies in which the fund will invest comprise Ben Aketil Wind Energy (27.6MW), Boyndie Wind Energy (16.65 MW), Cambrian Wind Energy (58.5 MW), Earlsburn Wind Energy (37.5 MW), Kilbraur Wind Energy (67.5 MW) and Millennium Wind Energy (65.0 MW).

The move comes at the end of an active year for PensionDanmark, which has now invested around $890 million through four major infrastructure deals this year. In addition to its latest venture in UK wind, these have included a DKK1.3 billion (€174 million; $237 million) investment in Dutch natural gas infrastructure in November, DKK1.1 billion worth of stakes in UK biomass plants in August, and DKK1.1 billion spent on the Cape Wind onshore wind farm in the US last June.

Three of these deals were made via Copenhagen Infrastructure I. CIP is planning to launch a second fund in three or four years' time, a vehicle that would likely be open to other LPs.

PensionDanmark currently has direct and indirect investments in infrastructure worth north of $1.8 billion, and intends to deploy a further $1.44 billion in the sector over the next four years.

Its biggest investment in infrastructure – worth $690 million – was Anholt Offshore Wind Farm, the largest in Denmark. The plant was inaugurated in early September.