Green Investment Bank unveils £1bn offshore wind fund

The UK’s Green Investment Bank today unveiled plans for a £1bn fund to attract private investors to offshore wind farms in Britain.

The offshore fund is intended to drive equity stakes into operational projects and the bank is looking for a group of strategic, long-term co-investors. In a statement, the bank said the fund was “an important development for the UK’s offshore wind sector”.

It said that with 3.6 GW of installed capacity, 1.4 GW in construction and several projects in development, “the UK sector is set to grow significantly in the coming years”. UK offshore wind

“To support that growth, it is vital that developers – typically large utilities – are able to refinance part of their investments in operating assets to reinvest in new developments. This requires a significant broadening of the number of long-term investors in UK offshore wind projects.”

The bank said that equity investments in operational wind farms “can offer a compelling opportunity for investors seeking long-term, inflation-linked returns”.

“These attributes can be well matched to the needs of long-term infrastructure investors such as sovereign wealth funds and pension funds.”

The bank – which is headquartered in Edinburgh – has been operating for 18 months and says that in the last financial year it committed £668m ($1.1bn) to 18 low carbon projects.

This, it claims, makes it “the most active investor in the UK’s green economy”.

The bank’s chief executive Shaun Kingsbury said: “Our role goes well beyond that of a traditional investor. We are providing a positive demonstration effect by successfully committing capital to profitable, green infrastructure investments. We are making a difference across the UK by taking on the tough projects, de-risking new technologies and lowering the cost of capital for our sectors.

“We want to do more to maximise our green impact. We plan to extend our reach into new markets like community-scale renewables.”

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