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WSIB considering $300m renewable investment

The Washington State Investment Board may contribute to a $1bn renewable energy fund that Geronimo Investment Management is looking to launch.

The Washington State Investment Board is considering a $300 million investment into a $1 billion renewable energy fund that Geronimo Investment Management is preparing to market.

WSIB, which manages several pensions and other public funds, has not yet approved the investment and will discuss it further at its 16 February meeting. Last week, WSIB’s tangible asset staff recommended the board make the $300 million investment into the fund.

The Geronimo fund would focus on the North American renewables market, with 60 percent of the expected investment allocated towards wind energy and 30 percent towards solar. The vehicle, which would acquire projects both from Geronimo and from third-party owners and developers, expects to allocate 70 percent of funding to acquiring newly-built or construction-ready assets and the remaining funds to the purchase of undervalued existing assets.

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Minneapolis, Geronimo’s investments include the $658 million Grande Prairie Wind Farm in Nebraska and the $479 million Walnut Ridge Wind Farm in Illinois. In total, the firm has developed close to 1.6GW of renewable projects in the past five years, according to a presentation the company delivered to WSIB.

Managing investments for 17 public sector retirement plans and 18 other public funds, WSIB currently holds $111.8 billion in assets under management, including $2.47 billion in infrastructure.