Denmark’s biggest commercial pensions provider PFA is buying three solar photovoltaic (PV) plants in England from Danish firm European Energy, which developed the power plants, in a deal that involves an option to buy three more.
PFA, which manages DKK545bn (€73.2bn) in assets, said the investment was part of its new strategy of putting money directly into the green energy sector.
Henrik Nøhr Poulsen, director at PFA Asset Management, said: “This is a very interesting investment, and it is one of the first steps in our new strategy, which, among other things, involves a greater focus towards direct investments in renewable energy.”
He said the investment was the company’s first in solar energy, as well as its first direct investment in energy where it owned 100% of the business.
He said the parks, with a 20-year guaranteed feed-in tariff, would help ensure a stable long-term return for PFA’s customers, involving low risk in the current low-interest-rate environment.
PFA did not say exactly how much the deal was worth, only that it paid European Energy – which develops onshore wind and solar PV projects – something between DKK100,000 and DKK1m for the plants.
The three solar parks have a total installed capacity of 15 MW, but the deal includes an option to buy three more plants, which would increase total installed capacity to 29 MW.
“Both PFA and European Energy expect that the takeover of the remaining three parks will fall into place during the last six months of 2016,” PFA said.
European Energy said the deal still depended on several normal conditions being fulfilled, including formal confirmation of the applicable feed-in tariff.
One of the solar plants PFA has bought will supply electricity for Nissan’s Sunderland factory, which produces the Japanese firm’s electric car, Nissan Leaf, alongside other models.