The GIBFS-managed fund is rapidly approaching GIBFS target of £1 billion and is now the largest renewable energy fund in the UK. Second close investors include Swedish life insurance and pension company AMF Pensionsförsäkring AB (AMF) and Strathclyde Pension Fund, both of which are making their first investments in the UK offshore wind sector. The Fund is the first in the world to be dedicated solely to investments in offshore wind power generation and provides long-term institutional investors with the opportunity to access the UK’s green infrastructure sector.
The second close has been marked with the acquisition by the fund of GIB’s option on a 10 percent stake in the 576 MW Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm, located in Liverpool Bay, which was officially inaugurated in June this year, joining two other offshore wind farms in the Fund’s list of assets. The three wind farms are able to generate 2,980 GWh of renewable energy annually, enough to power more than 700,000 homes or all the homes in Northern Ireland. Completion of the Gwynt y Môr acquisition means that more than half of the Fund’s capital will be invested in income-generating assets.
“Offshore wind has been a UK success story and I welcome this long-term, private sector involvement in what is now the largest renewable energy fund in the UK” said Amber Rudd, UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary. “This demonstrates how we are open for business and the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind.”
Shaun Kingsbury, Executive Chairman of the Board, UK Green Investment Bank Financial Services Limited, and Chief Executive of the UK Green Investment Bank plc, added that the Offshore Wind Fund was created to provide investors like pension funds, insurance companies and other asset managers with access to a team of market-leading industry experts and that GIBFS is delighted to be working with investors such as AMF and Strathclyde Pension Fund, each of whom are leading the way in their recognition of the business value of investments in green infrastructure.
According to Karl Smith, GIBFS Fund Managing Director, home-grown and international investors have shown growing confidence in well-developed and well-managed offshore wind assets in the UK. GIBFS is now in advanced discussions with other potential investors and progressing quickly towards final close and its £1bn target.