Glennmont goes Dutch with new €700m evergreen fund
London-based Glennmont has partnered with MN, asset manager for nine Dutch pensions, to launch an open-end fund that will invest in brownfield renewable projects across continental Europe and the UK. It is the second strategy Glennmont is launching since being acquired last year by Nuveen, investment manager of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America.
The Nuveen European Core Renewable Infrastructure fund is starting out with €700 million – €600 million of that being invested by MN on behalf of its client PMT. The remaining €100 million is being invested by Nuveen’s parent company TIAA, with more to be raised once deployed.
According to a joint statement, NECRI will invest in offshore and onshore wind, solar PV, hydro and storage.
The new strategy will “enable us, for the first time, to leverage our team’s operational expertise to maximise the entire life cycle of existing clean energy assets”, Glennmont Partners CEO and co-founder Joost Bergsma said.
Glennmont’s first vehicle post-acquisition is still in fundraising mode. According to Infrastructure Investor data, Glennmont Clean Energy Fund IV, launched last October, has so far raised $750 million and targets $2 billion.
Yes, to impact – as long as it doesn’t impact fees
You’ve got two energy funds: one from a veteran manager with a track record of investing across the sector; the other, the debut private markets energy transition vehicle from a blue-chip infrastructure GP, focused on decarbonising businesses. One of these funds links a significant portion of carry to meeting emissions targets, the other ties performance fees solely to financial returns.
Which one does which?
We know what you’re thinking – of course it’s the energy transition fund linking carry to emissions. Except it isn’t. The vehicle doing that is actually EIG Energy Fund XVIII, as covered last week. The one paying performance fees like any old private markets fund is Brookfield’s $15 billion Global Transition Fund, per the Financial Times.
That’s somewhat puzzling, given Brookfield has marketed the GTR as its “inaugural impact fund”. Alas, Brookfield couldn’t be reached for further comment. Managing partner Natalie Adomait did tell the FT that investors were unlikely to back further transition-related fundraising if the GTR failed to meet its objectives.
While reputational risk is certainly a powerful incentive, it does make the GTR one of the few vehicles where creating impact doesn’t get to impact its performance fees.
Be careful what you wish for
The Pipeline was reminded of one Aesop’s Fables this week, which tells the story of the donkey and his masters. In it, the proverbial donkey is worked very hard by the gardener that owns him and prays to find another master. His prayers are answered, and he is given to a potter, who works him even harder than before, making him wish for his original master again.
Thus, he realises that the grass is not always greener on the other side.
The UK’s largest power generators appear to have come to a similar realisation, with The Times reporting last week that some now favour a windfall tax, despite many coming out against it just a couple of weeks ago. The reason? New prime minister Liz Truss is considering pushing generators into signing power supply contracts for the winter at reduced prices – an outcome now thought by many to be worse than a one-off levy.
It represents quite the U-turn from some in the sector, which had so far been insulated from the windfall taxes being levied across Europe.
One for The Pipeline’s book of fables, then.
Hydrogen’s holy subsidy trinity
Those decrying that green hydrogen will never be cost-competitive and is – pardon the pun – a pipe dream, may want to cast their eyes at the transformational Inflation Reduction Act passed in the US this summer, with consultancy ICF International tipping the technology to become cost-competitive with natural gas as a result.
The logic is threefold: first, green hydrogen will require significant wind and solar backing and thus qualifying for the renewed investment or production tax credit. Secondly, such green hydrogen projects will benefit from the newly introduced hydrogen tax credit from the IRA. And finally, any electricity produced from said green hydrogen will also qualify for PTCs or ITCs.
This, says the consultancy, will reduce the levelised cost of electricity of green hydrogen-fuelled CCGTs in 2030 by between 52 percent and 67 percent relative to projects without incentives and making them cost-competitive with new natural gas CCGTs.
It’s amazing what a good subsidy can do.
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“I saw in a deal document an infrastructure fund had outsourced [to a consultant] the reason why this deal fulfils the definition of infrastructure. You shouldn’t need to outsource that.”
An infrastructure debt source has greater fears than just the widening definition of infrastructure
Dial 911 for Stonepeak
Stonepeak’s latest acquisition would be unusual enough to raise alarm bells, if it weren’t in charge of turning them on and off anyway. The firm has deployed $2.4 billion from its latest flagship fund to buy Intrado Security, Intrado’s safety business, which provides public emergency telecommunications services such as 911 hotline operations. Intrado will retain its life and safety platform Digital Workflows.
Even for a firm as well versed in the communications infrastructure sector as Stonepeak, it’s an unusual move – so why make the 911 call?
“Intrado’s safety business represents an attractive opportunity to invest behind critical telecommunications infrastructure that underpins access to 911, a public good in the US, through its extremely high-quality network, central positioning within the emergency response chain, and long-term customer relationships,” stated senior MD James Wyper.
For the infrastructure tag, there are certainly fewer essential services to society.
KKR finds a Hero
KKR has continued its push into Asian infrastructure with a $450 million investment into Hero Future Energies, an independent power producer with around 1.6GW of operating assets in India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Singapore, as well as Ukraine and the UK.
The firm will make the investment from its Asia Pacific Infrastructure Fund, which closed on $3.9 billion in January 2021. In August, KKR said it had already crossed more than $4 billion in fundraising for its second APAC-focused vehicle.
KKR said in a statement that its investment would support HFE in its efforts to expand its capacity in technologies including solar, wind, battery storage and green hydrogen, and into new markets as well.
Elsewhere in Asia, KKR has set up Virescent Infrastructure, a renewable energy platform that invests in India, and Aster Renewable Energy, a firm that develops and operates solar, wind and storage projects in Taiwan and Vietnam.