By Isla Binnie and Susanna Twidale
MADRID/LONDON (Reuters) – Major Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has agreed to invest up to $1 billion in a new offshore wind business launched by Australia’s Macquarie Group Ltd to develop projects around the world, they said. the companies told Reuters on Thursday.
Large numbers of turbines planted off windy coastlines account for a large part of the renewable energy capacity targets set by countries such as the United States and Britain as part of a global push to cut planet-warming carbon emissions.
Pension and infrastructure funds often buy stakes in renewable power generation projects, tempted by predictable long-term returns, but are less likely to take the risk of projects that have not yet been built or have not yet secured deals. of consumers to buy their power.
Under an agreement with Macquarie’s newly launched offshore wind developer Corio Generation, Ontario Teachers’ will invest up to $1 billion in the development of 14 floating and fixed-bottom wind farms in South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Ireland and Great Britain, which represents around 9 gigawatts of capacity.
Chris Ireland, managing director of Ontario Teachers for Greenfield Investments and Renewables, told Reuters there were benefits to getting involved earlier in the process.
“It allows us to have access to good projects, in which we can invest in the long term without competing with others,” he said.
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is one of Canada’s largest pension funds, managing total assets of around $185 billion.
With fierce demand in the space, several deals for the acquisition of offshore wind projects have attracted significant premiums in recent years, such as Equinor’s sale to BP of a 50% stake in two US wind farms.
Denmark’s Orsted agreed last month to sell half of the 1.3GW Hornsea 2 project in Britain to a French consortium for 3 billion pounds ($3.69 billion).
“The economics of doing development may be more attractive than buying operational projects,” Ireland said.
Competition is rising in the sector as governments around the world push to cut carbon emissions from their power grids and reduce reliance on energy imports from Russia.
“We are almost at the beginning of an exponential growth curve,” Corio Chief Executive Jonathan Cole told Reuters.
Europe, one of the leading regions for offshore wind power, invested €41 billion ($43.21 billion) in new wind farms in 2021, data from WindEurope showed.
(Reporting by Isla Binnie in Madrid and Susanna Twidale in London; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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