Caisse investing in wind and solar projects, AIMCo in German real estate

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is investing an additional US$1 billion in Invenergy Renewables, a developer and operator of wind and solar projects across North America.

The commitment, in the form of new investment facilities, will support Invenergy’s expanded development activities and continued growth, according to a press release. The Caisse began its partnership with Invenergy in 2012 with a stake in a portfolio of operating wind farms and acquired a direct stake in the company in 2013.

Read: CPPIB, Caisse investing in European clean energy projects

“This new investment is the largest since we began our successful partnership with Invenergy in 2013,” said Emmanuel Jaclot, executive vice-president and head of infrastructure at the Caisse, in the release. “[The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec] is thrilled to put its constructive capital behind the men and women at Invenergy who passionately develop new renewable projects and thereby contribute to the climate transition.”

This is the latest clean energy investment made by the pension fund. Previous investments include Xebec Adsorption Inc.,  Q-Energy Ltd. and Azure Power Global Ltd.

In other Caisse news, a new public transit project is up and running in Montreal’s east end, representing a $3-billion investment by the Caisse’s infrastructure arm.

The $10-billion expansion of the Réseau express métropolitain opened in December and was originally proposed by the Caisse’s subsidiary CDPQ Infra in 2016, with additional funding from the governments of Canada and Quebec. The expansion consists of 32 kilometres of light rail and 23 new stations, making the project one of the largest automated transit networks in the world, according to a press release.

Read: Feds confirm $1.3B funding for Caisse light-rail project

“The arrival of this mobility solution is an opportunity to create user-friendly facilities, develop neighbourhoods on a human scale and reclaim the banks of the St. Lawrence River,” said Jean-Marc Arbaud, managing director of CDPQ Infra, in the release.

And in other investment news, the Alberta Investment Management Corp. is investing more than €400 million in Aurelis Real Estate GmbH & Co., a German light-industrial real-estate operating company.

The investment is being made through a recapitalization of the company led by Alpine Grove Partners and will give the AIMCo a significant minority limited partner stake, according to a press release. Funds advised and managed by affiliates of Alpine Grove Partners originally acquired 50 per cent of Aurelis from Deutsche Bahn in 2007 and increased their stake in 2014.

“Our investment into Aurelis provides immediate exposure to the dynamic German economy and to the resilient industrial and urban land sectors which we believe will deliver strong returns going forward,” said Rupert Wingfield, head of European real estate for the AIMCo, in the release.

Read: AIMCo CEO stepping down, investment manager enters agreement on renewables