Ridgewood invests $100m in power transmission system

The US firm’s investment in the Neptune Regional Transmission System was made on behalf of the State of Michigan Retirement Systems and a family office.

Ridgewood Private Equity Partners (RPEP), an investment firm focused on energy and infrastructure assets, is plugging about $100 million into the Neptune Regional Transmission System, a 65-mile submarine power transmission cable connecting New Jersey and Long Island, New York.

The investment was made on behalf of entities representing the State of Michigan Retirement Systems and a major family office, RPEP said in a recent statement.

“[Neptune] is a critical piece of infrastructure with a proven record of operating performance that delivers cost effective and reliable power to a high-demand region,” said Michael Albrecht,, a managing director at RPEP.

The transmission system has capacity of 660 megawatts (MW) high voltage, direct current that is fully contracted with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) under a long-term agreement. According to RPEP’s statement, Neptune has provided approximately 20 percent of the electricity for Long Island since mid-2007 when it began operating.

With offices in New York and Montvale, New Jersey, RPEP is part of the Ridgewood Companies, founded in 1982 by Robert Swanson. Since then, the companies have raised more than $7 billion in capital and commitments primarily focused on direct equity investments in energy, infrastructure and other real assets.

RPEP’s investment strategy is to build a diversified portfolio of investments primarily within the energy value chain – including upstream, midstream, downstream and services – principally in the US. It is led by Ross Posner who in September 2014 joined Ridgewood from Allstate Investments, where he most recently created and led its global infrastructure and real asset private equity investment team, with a portfolio of over $1 billion.

Albrecht, who worked with Posner at Allstate, joined Ridgewood shortly thereafter to originate and execute investments throughout the energy value chain.