Following 12 years' development, financial closing of America's first offshore wind farm, Cape Wind, is now anticipated. The Danish pension company PensionDanmark, via the fund Copenhagen Infrastructure I managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), is now funding an investment commitment of $200 million in capital for the Cape Wind project (in the form of a mezzanine loan). As a lighthouse project, Cape Wind is crucial to advance the offshore wind industry in the United States.
"We are delighted to participate in the Cape Wind project. Investing in energy infrastructure is not new to us. We have made equity investments in two offshore wind farms in Denmark and three onshore wind farms in the USA and provided debt financing for onshore wind parks in Sweden and Belgium. At a time when bond yields are very low, this is expected to be an attractive investment opportunity for us," said CEO Torben Möger Pedersen, PensionDanmark.
With up to 130 Siemens (NYSE: SI) turbines of 3.6 MW each, Cape Wind could become one of the world's largest offshore wind farms. The first season of the project, in which the investment is expected, covers 101 of the turbines. The commitment is conditional upon a final investment decision to be made by the end of the year.
"The Cape Wind project has some attractive project characteristics in terms of the physical conditions of the site and an experienced supplier base, and we expect the final project details to be in place later this year. Power purchase agreements have been secured covering the production of the first phase for the first 15 years and the plans include the use of proven and operationally stable technology", said Christian Skakkebæk, a partner in Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).
The fund Copenhagen Infrastructure I, managed by CIP, was established in 2012 at the initiative of PensionDanmark, which has committed DKK 6bn to the fund and is its sole investor.
The man behind the Cape Wind project, the founder and owner of the Boston-based energy company Energy Management Inc., Jim Gordon, welcomes the Danish investment.
"This important investment is a milestone in the Cape Wind project. We are pleased to welcome PensionDenmark and CIP into the project as experienced investors in offshore wind," said Gordon.