Ørsted, the Danish-headquartered renewable energy company, has closed a US$140 million transaction with Energy Capital Partners (ECP), an energy transition-focused investor, to divest a 50% ownership stake in a portfolio consisting of three onshore windfarms and one solar farm in the US.
In a statement, Ørsted said that the portfolio consists of the onshore windfarms Lincoln Land Wind, Plum Creek Wind, and Willow Creek Wind as well as the solar farm Muscle Shoals. It is diversified across four US states (Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Alabama) and three markets (MISO, SPP North and TVA).
The portfolio has a combined capacity of 862MW.
The projects are all operational and have power purchase agreements in place for all or parts of the production capacity. Ørsted will be the managing member of the partnership and will continue to provide asset management services to the projects, it added.
Neil O’Donovan, CEO of Ørsted Onshore, said: “I’m excited about bringing in such a leading investor as ECP, who has a proven and established track record in power and renewables, for the first farm-down in our Onshore business.
“I consider this transaction another key milestone in the Onshore journey and a testament to the value our projects create. Our ability to raise capital will fuel our continued onshore growth. I’m proud of the team for making this transaction happen.”
The transaction was funded via a fund-of-one partnership, Renewable Power Fund Plus, between ECP and Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA), a US Fortune 100 insurance and financial services organisation, along with debt financing from Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG).
Renewable Power Fund Plus now owns 50% of a newly established company holding the four projects. TIAA also owns global asset manager Nuveen and its subsidiary Glennmont Partners, who acquired 50% of Ørsted’s German offshore wind farm Borkum Riffgrund 3 in 2022.
This transaction is notable for not only being Ørsted’s first farm-down of onshore assets, but also the first time Ørsted is divesting multiple assets in one transaction as part of its farm-down program, the company said.
The transaction successfully recycles a material amount of capital that will support Ørsted’s ambition to reach 50GW of installed renewable energy capacity globally by 2030. The company currently has a portfolio of over 5GW of onshore wind and solar PV projects in operation and under construction across the US and Europe, it added.
Schuyler Coppedge, Partner at ECP, stated: “We are pleased to invest in this diverse portfolio of operating wind and solar assets, underpinned by long term investment grade cash flows in attractive markets. Ørsted has a first-class reputation for owning and operating renewable projects around the world, and we are delighted to partner with them as they continue to grow and diversify their Onshore business.”