SANYO joins with UCSD to grow renewable energy projects
The SANYO Electric Group, along with SANYO North America Corporation, and the University of California San Diego (UCSD) have agreed to collaborate on the next generation of solar energy systems and energy management. SANYO, a leader in renewable energy technology located in San Diego, Calif., and UCSD will join together for multi-year, multi-disciplinary projects covering the topic of renewable energy, as well as energy storage research, development and education. SANYO will offer $3 million in funding for the research projects, over the period of three years.
“Today as SANYO and UC San Diego sign this agreement for research and activities to realize smart grids, each of our organizations brings unique abilities and know-how to the table to build a win-win relationship,” said Mitsuru Homma, Executive Vice President of SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. “It is our hope that through this agreement we can create a value-added system to offer the United States as a whole, expanding the concept of a smart grid society beyond the boundaries of this campus and San Diego.”
The research projects will focus mostly on the future use of solar power, especially within California and similar states that tend to rely more on renewable energy. The research will expand on the SANYO Smart Energy System concept, which serves the purpose of improving the consistency and reliability of renewable energy. In addition, the agreement supports continuous work at UCSD for solar forecasting, energy storage and other energy management. Together, SANYO and UCSD will develop an Energy Development Open (EDO) platform for proposing various application services using Smart Energy Systems.
“As one of the greenest universities in the United States, UC San Diego has become a living laboratory for sustainability and renewable energy,” stated UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. “This partnership with SANYO will further leverage the university’s energy research expertise which, in turn, will benefit industry, society and the environment.”
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.