Green bank raises £355m for offshore wind fund

GIB chief executive Shaun Kingsbury said the UK is the world's leading market for offshore wind
GIB chief executive Shaun Kingsbury said the UK is the world's leading market for offshore wind
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The UK’s Green Investment Bank (GIB) has raised £355 million from investors including Strathclyde Pension Fund to plough into offshore wind projects.

The Edinburgh-based bank, which is backed by the UK government, said the fundraising makes its offshore wind fund the largest renewable energy fund in the UK, standing at £818m.

Along with Strathclyde Pension Fund, investors in the second close included Swedish life insurance and pension company AMF.

“The fund is the first to be dedicated solely to investments in offshore wind power generation globally and provides long-term institutional investors with the opportunity to access the UK’s green infrastructure sector,” the bank said.

Amber Rudd, the UK energy and climate change secretary, said: “Offshore wind has been a UK success story and I welcome this long-term, private sector involvement in what is now the largest renewable energy fund in the UK. This demonstrates how we are open for business and the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind.”

GIB chief executive Shaun Kingsbury added: “We created the offshore wind fund to provide investors like pension funds, insurance companies and other asset managers with access to a team of market-leading industry experts.

“We are delighted to be working with investors of the calibre of AMF and Strathclyde Pension Fund, each of whom are leading the way in their recognition of the business value of investments in green infrastructure. This is a great way to put infrastructure money to work in the UK, the world’s leading market for offshore wind.”

Councillor Paul Rooney, chair of the Strathclyde Pension Fund, said its investment in the offshore wind fund marks its biggest investment to date in UK green infrastructure in the UK.

“Our fund was already working closely with the GIB to provide finance for community-scale renewable energy projects and we are excited to follow that project by taking a stake in a long-term and globally significant investment in offshore wind power,” he said.

“We are confident it is one that will deliver not only sustainable and secure energy infrastructure for the future of our communities, but a sustainable and secure future for our members who are saving for retirement.”

The GIB was launched in 2012 with £3.8 billion of taxpayer funding, and in June the government said the bank would be part-privatised having generated a “modest” pre-tax profit of £100,000 for 2014-15.