Danish pension funds PKA and PenSam have signed a new green energy deal under their alternatives partnership, investing DKK1.7bn (€228m) in two solar energy plants in California and Texas owned by US renewables developer Longroad Energy.

The two labour-market pension funds, which together have 700,000 members and over DKK450bn in combined assets under management, announced they had bought a 50% stake in the energy parks via the PKA-founded alternatives firm AIP Management.

PKA is putting up the lion’s share of the investment sum in the solar energy plants, investing 76.9% of it, with PenSam investing the remaining 23.1%, the funds said.

PenSam and PKA described the investment as an important contribution to the green transition in the US, which would also give Danish pension scheme members a stable return at a time of turbulence on the financial markets.

Torsten Fels, PenSam’s chief executive officer, said: “Even though markets are creating challenges in many ways right now, we are maintaining our long-term investment strategy – also in the case of our strategy to increase green investments.”

The photovoltaic plants cover an area the size of 1,300 football pitches and are set to generate enough green electricity to power the equivalent of 280,000 Danish households when they are ready in July and December, the duo said.

Longroad Energy – with whom the two Danish funds partnered last summer over a Texas wind-farm project - said it was starting to build the Little Bear Solar installation, which comprises four separate projects totalling 215 MW, in Fresno County, California.

The other project the Danish funds are buying into is Prospero I Solar, a 379 MW plant located in Andrews County, Texas.

Jon Johnsen, who has now taken over as PKA’s CEO following the recent retirement of Peter Damgaard Jensens, said: “If we are to achieve the ambitious targets we set with the government back in September, it requires us to continue to make significant investments in green energy both at home and abroad.”

Ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in September, Denmark’s government and several of its biggest pension funds pledged to invest an additional DKK350bn before 2030 to support the green transition.