Canada’s La Caisse pays €785m for 25% stake in world’s largest offshore wind farm

Acquires stake in massive London Array from DONG Energy

Canada’s C$185.9bn (€123.3bn) Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (La Caisse) has bought a 25% share in the massive London Array 1 offshore wind farm off the coast of southern England for £644m (€785m).

La Caisse, which runs assets for public and private pension and insurance plans, is buying the stake from Denmark’s DONG Energy, which is divesting half of its 50% of its stake in the 630MW facility.

The Québec City-headquartered investor said it was a chance to invest, alongside established partners, in a “quality asset in a growth-driven sector”.

“We are investing in this project with a long-term horizon and expect to generate attractive returns for many years ahead,” said Macky Tall, Senior Vice-President of Infrastructure at La Caisse.

Principles for Responsible Investment signatory La Caisse will enter the existing joint venture alongside DONG – embroiled in a political row in Denmark over plans to sell a stake to Goldman Sachs – and projectpartners E.ON of Germany (30% stake) and Abu Dhabi-based Masdar (20%).
“We are delighted to have entered into an agreement with such a credible financial investor as La Caisse,” said Samuel Leupold, Executive Vice President of DONG Energy Wind Power.

La Caisse has also agreed a long-term transfer agreement for the power production and green certificates with DONG.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2014.

London Array 1 is the world’s largest offshore wind farm, located around 20km off the coasts of Kent and Essex. It covers an area of some 90 square kilometers and includes 175 turbines; it was officially opened in July last year.

La Caisse is no stranger to wind projects. Last year, for example, it provided a C$50m loan to a 43-turbine, 101MW wind farm project in its home province.