Global Wind Day puts Wind Power in the Spotlight
“Global Wind Day” is June 15, and is a time for the world to reflect on the exciting possibilities harnessing the wind’s power holds for the future of energy generation. More than 75 countries around the world have wind farms actively providing clean electricity. Beginning as a European event in 2007, Global Wind Day has since expanded throughout the world, officially going international in 2009. The day will see thousands of events promoting wind power taking place all over the world, and wind industry companies are making some big announcements on the iconic day.
A new global consumer label for companies using wind power has been announced. “WindMade” certification would require participating companies to source 25 percent of their energy from wind power. "The initiative is backed by the wind power industry, and we believe that the label will build a bridge between consumers and companies committed to clean energy," says Steve Sawyer, chairman of the WindMade board and secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).
The WindMade certification plan has been developed in a partnership between the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the American Wind Energy Association, LEGO, Climate Friendly, Gold Standard and Vestas, with Oko-Institut and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) acting as advisers.
SEE RELATED STORIES IN THE WDM CONTENT NETWORK
Enbridge and RES Canada announced the completion of their 99 MW Talbot Wind Project in Ontario, Canada on Global Wind Day. "We are pleased to officially introduce the Talbot Wind Project to the Chatham-Kent community," said Don Thompson, Vice President, Green Energy, "particularly since today is Global Wind Day and people around the world are celebrating wind for its contributions as a clean and renewable energy source."
LM Wind Power—a manufacturer of wind turbine blades—announced on Global Wind Day the creation of the world’s largest turbine blade. The massive 73.5-meter blade stands roughly equivalent to 24 stories tall. “The size of these impressive structures has more than doubled over the past decade alone, and although this has of course demanded the development of new materials, design, and technology along the way, the new 73.5 m blade is built on our progressive accumulation of know-how,” says VP Product Development Jan Kristiansen. “This ensures that even though it is more than ten meters longer than our recent world record blade, it is still based on a proven concept.”
So if you’re a fan of renewable energy, or would like to learn more about wind power and what it means for your country’s energy security, be sure to check out a Global Wind Day event near you!
USS pension fund buys 50% stake in Bruc Energy
The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) private pension fund has taken a 50% stake in Bruc Energy, a Spain and Portugal renewables-focussed investment vehicle created by OPTrust and Spanish businessman, Juan Béjar.
In the transaction arranged by USS Investment Management, the wholly-owned subsidiary and principal investment manager and advisor to the Scheme, USS has invested €225M (c.£200m) in return for the stake in a major pipeline of 4,000MW of PV farms. Bruc Energy has an ambitious growth plan that goes beyond this to invest in other green energies, such as wind power.
USS, which announced two weeks ago its aim to be net zero by 2050, already has a strong relationship with both OPTrust and Juan Bejar through Globalvia, a specialist infrastructure platform focussed on managing rail and highways assets around the world.
Spain’s sun-drenched climate and national target to reach 100% renewable-based generation by 2050 make it an attractive place to invest in solar energy. In addition, the decades long lifespan of solar PV panels make them well-suited to USS in helping pay members’ pensions long into the future.
USS Investment Management CEO, Simon Pilcher, said: “We are delighted to be committing further finance to renewables and particularly to a major Spanish solar platform like this. We have already invested or committed around £1 billion to renewable energy and demand for this will only increase as more and more countries transition to lower carbon. We know that our members care very much about climate change and ESG and we are convinced that USS playing its part in supporting the transition to a low carbon economy makes good financial sense, too. This announcement closely follows on from our stated ambition to become Net Zero by 2050 so this transaction and others like it will be a key plank of our strategy going forward.”
Gavin Merchant, Co-Head of Direct Equity, said: “We have worked alongside OPTrust and Juan Béjar for many years and are delighted to be making this investment. The long-term nature of solar and the steady returns make renewables attractive to a pension scheme needing to pay pensions for years to come.”
OPTrust’s Morgan McCormick, Managing Director, Private Markets Group UK said: “We are excited to have USS join Bruc Energy building on our strong existing relationship. Their investment will help Bruc become one of the leading renewable energy platforms in Spain. At OPTrust, we believe that investing in renewable energy helps transitions the world to a more sustainable economy. In doing so, we can continue to deliver on our mission of paying pensions today and preserving pensions for tomorrow.”
Béjar said the partnership is a key step to establishing Bruc as one of the more dynamic players in the renewables industry in Spain, because it ensures access to the funds to develop our current portfolio. "All three shareholders of Bruc Energy share a long-term vision, but also the ambition and the social responsibility to counter the effects of climate change in the short-term," he said.
Following the transaction, which remains subject to conditions, including regulatory approval, Bruc Energy will be owned 50% by USS and BROP, a vehicle owned by OPTrust and Béjar. The transaction was advised by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Greenhill and Nomura. Juan Béjar will be the president of Bruc Energy and Luis Venero the CEO.