UBS to acquire 50% of TX wind farm

The Swiss group has agreed to buy half of a 161MW wind farm from EDF Renewable Energy, the sixth deal by its first infrastructure vehicle.

Swiss financial group UBS, through its flagship UBS International Infrastructure Fund, will acquire a 50 percent equity interest from EDF Renewable Energy in a 161-megawatt (MW) wind farm project in Texas, the two companies said in a joint statement.

Construction of Spinning Spur II, located in Oldham County, began in June this year. The wind farm is scheduled to become commercially operational in July 2014.

It was unclear whether EDF Renewable Energy retained the remaining 50 percent of the project. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

“EDF Renewable Energy will remain in charge of development, construction and tax-equity financing until commercial operation is achieved,” EDF Renewable Energy director of divestiture and portfolio management Raphael Declercq said in the statement. “We will then bring in our expertise in operations and maintenance through EDF Renewable Services to optimise both partners’ long-term investment profitability.”

Spinning Spur II will be one of the first projects to take advantage of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) transmission lines connecting the wind generating capacity of the Texas Panhandle to high electricity demand areas in the state, according to the statement.

This transaction represents UBS International Infrastructure Fund’s sixth investment and its second renewables acquisition. The fund closed in November 2008 on more than $1.5 billion, but UBS declined to comment on the percentage deployed to date.

Managed by UBS Global Asset Management, the fund targets established direct investment opportunities in OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries investing in various types of assets, including transportation, utilities, energy and social infrastructure.

In April 2013, UBS launched a second fund, UBS Infrastructure Fund II, with a target of $2 billion and a minimum investment requirement of $20 million, according to a SEC filing.

San Diego-based EDF Renewable Energy is an independent power producer specialising in wind and solar energy and is the US subsidiary of France’s EDF Energies Nouvelles, the renewable energy arm of EDF group.

The company also has a presence in other forms of renewable energy such as biomass, biogas, hydro and marine energy.

Photo courtesy of EDF Renewable Energy.