13 January 2016

EF BRIEFS: Trina, Grenergy, Santander, Goldman Sachs, Impax, Japan

Japanese companies plan ¥50bn wind fund

The Development Bank of Japan and Japan Wind Development Company plan to launch a ¥50bn ($423 million) wind energy fund in April.

The Japanese government last year announced a plan to boost renewables' share of electricity supply to 22%-24% by 2030 from around 4% in 2013, but wind is expected to account for just 1.7%, or 10GW. The domestic wind industry association, however, believes 36GW could be achieved by 2030.

Most of the growth in Japanese renewables is expected to come from the solar photovoltaic sector.

Trina and Grenergy in JV for Chilean solar

China's Trina Solar and Spain's Grenergy Renovables have formed a joint venture to build solar in Chile.

Trina claims to be the world's largest solar panel manufacturer, and Grenergy is a Madrid-based renewables developer with operations across Latin America. The pair will have a 50:50 stake in the company, which will see Grenergy build projects using Trina's technology.

Grenergy said the partnership could result in 60MW of capacity in Chile, with the potential for expansion into other markets in Latin America – Grenergy currently also operates in Colombia, Mexico and Peru. The first projects to be undertaken as part of the deal are two distributed solar plants with a combined capacity of 6MW.


Santander's Cubico does first deal in Brazil

Cubico Sustainable Investments – the renewables and water investor created by Santander last year – has bought two wind farms in Brazil.

The deal, which included debt, was closed late last year and Cubico – co-owned by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Santander and Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board - claims it was the largest acquisition of operational wind in Brazil in 2015. It includes the 182MW Caetes plant and the 210MW Ventos do Araripe I plant.

Cubico has also opened an office in Sao Paulo. It now owns seven plants in Latin America, and has a focus on Mexico, Uruguay, Peru, Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica.

Goldman Sachs backs US rooftop firm with equity investment

Goldman Sachs has got behind a US rooftop solar firm in a $25 million deal.

Ten K Solar will use the equity investment from the bank's Alternative Energy Investing Group to support the expansion of its US and global operations, having had three consecutive years of "triple digit growth", it claimed.

Other investors in the company include Oaktree Capital Management and Greencoat Capital.

Piper Jaffray & Co. served as Ten K's financial advisor for the transaction.

Impax sells stake in Irish wind farm to Canadian fund

Impax Asset Management has sold its 51% stake in the 24MW Ballycadden wind farm in Ireland to the Greystone Infrastructure Fund of Toronto. No financial details were disclosed.

The Ballycadden project was connected to the grid in 2013 and represents Greystone's first investment in European renewables. Jeff Mouland, head of the Greystone Infrastructure Fund, said the company is "actively pursuing other ‎high quality assets in Ireland and across Europe".

Impax is currently building several other wind projects in Ireland and "remains committed to developing and building out its project pipeline ... to 2020 and beyond," said director Ryan Cameron. The London-based specialist investor announced in September that it was in exclusive talks to sell the Ballycadden project. (LINK)

Eversheds provided legal advice to Impax on the transaction, while A&L Goodbody served as legal advisor to Greystone.

Dominion Virginia plans $9.5bn for clean energy infrastructure by 2020

Dominion Virginia Power, a major US electricity generator, said it plans to invest almost $2 billion each year, up to 2020, to reduce the emissions intensity of its fuel mix and upgrade the grid in Virginia and North Carolina.

Increased spending on solar power will be a significant feature of the plan, it said, without giving further details.
The new commitment comes on top of plans to build a $5 billion gas pipeline that will help the company reduce its use of coal.

Both plans will help the utility meet its obligations under the proposed US Clean Power Plan, Dominion Virginia said.


Allianz enters Finnish wind space with latest acquisition

Allianz Capital Partners has entered the Finnish renewables market with the acquisition of a 21MW wind park in the country.

The site – sold by wind energy firm OX2 for an undisclosed price – is not yet built, but has the permits in place to begin construction, and is expected to be commissioned at the end of the year. OX2 will remain responsible for the commercial and technical management of the project.

In November, Allianz announced plans to cut its holdings in coal-intensive companies in favour of renewables.

Foresight Group increases AUM by 33%, appoints partners

UK environmental investor Foresight Group increased its assets under management by 33% in 2015, to £1.8 billion ($2.6 billion).

The firm, which also invests in non-environmental private equity opportunities, has fully deployed its Foresight Environmental Fund and its UK Waste Resources and Energy Investments Fund, with a combined value of £138 million, invested in assets expected to generate 126MW of renewable energy.

Foresight Group also expanded its team by 47% in 2015, and on 1 January promoted three directors at the firm – James Livingstone, Dan Wells and James Samworth – to partners.

Rame Energy and Santander sell Chile wind farms

London-listed Rame Energy and Santander Investment Chile have sold two wind farms, with a combined capacity of 15MW, to InterEnergy Holdings, a private equity fund based in the Caribbean.

Rame said it expects to receive $4.4 million for its 20% stake in the facility, but no other financial details of the transaction were disclosed.

The Raki and Huajache wind farms are located in the Bio Bio region of Chile and have a 10-year power purchase agreement with EKA Chile, a partnership between AkzoNobel and Celulosa Arauco.

InterEnergy already owns 86MW of wind capacity in the Dominican Republic, and is building a 215MW wind project in Panama.