NETHERLANDS - Dutch asset manager PGGM has acquired a 25% share in a wind farm under construction in the Irish Sea for £16m (€19m).

PGGM, which manages €98bn in assets including for healthcare scheme PFZW, was joined in its bid by Ampère Equity Fund.

The consortium will pay the £16m for a combined stake of 24.8% in the Walney offshore project, as well as contribute its share of the construction costs. DONG Energy, which will retain a 50.1% stake in the project, estimates that these will total £1bn.

Henk Huizing, head of infrastructure investments of PGGM said the investment aligned with all the ESG criteria it agreed with clients.

Huizing added: "It highlights our infrastructure change in strategy to shift our focus from fund investments to entering into partnerships with strategic players for direct investments."

The chief executive of DONG Energy, Anders Eldrup, said the move was further evidence of the growing interest by financial investors in offshore wind.

The deal comes only a few months after PensionDanmark acquired a 50% stake in the Nysted offshore windfarm in Denmark for €74m.

At the time, Eldrup said he was hopeful the agreement would pave the way for similar investments from pension funds.

Aside from DONG Energy's 50.1% stake in Walney, energy provider Scottish & Southern Energy will hold the remaining 25.1%.