CPPIB, Caisse investing in European clean energy projects

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is launching Renewable Power Capital Ltd., a U.K.-based platform that will focus on renewable energy investments in Europe.

The platform is backed by the CPPIB’s power and renewables investment strategy and will invest in solar, onshore wind and battery storage projects across Europe, according to a press release, which also noted the business will be a majority-owned but independently-operated portfolio company.

Read: CPPIB formally sets out ESG expectations for portfolio companies

Bob Psaradellis, formerly of GE Energy Financial Services, is chief executive officer and the management team includes general counsel and chief operating officer Mark Hanson, chief commercial officer Mariano Berges, director of power markets Steve Hunter and principal Daniel Szentirmai.

“The establishment of [Renewable Power Capital] brings together our long-term, flexible capital and a management team with a depth of expertise and sophisticated understanding of the European renewable energy market,” said Bruce Hogg, managing director and head of power and renewables at the CPPIB, in the release. “The business is well positioned to create value through enhancing routes to market, driving more-efficient commercialization strategies and making improvements to assets’ capital structures as many European renewables markets transition towards a subsidy-free regime.”

Read: Legal analysis suggests CPPIB not doing enough to transition to lower-carbon assets

In other investment news, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is making a strategic $50-million investment in Xebec Adsorption Inc., a Quebec-based clean-energy producer. The investment is in conjunction with a $100-million bought deal public offering of subscription receipts and will enable Xebec’s acquisition of HyGear Technology and Services, a Netherlands-based company specializing in hydrogen-generation solutions and electric vehicle-refueling applications.

“By taking a stake in Xebec, [the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec] is contributing to the development of Quebec expertise in transitioning toward sources of renewable energy,” said Kim Thomassin, executive vice-president and head of investments in Quebec and stewardship investing at the Caisse, in a press release. “Xebec possesses high-quality assets and has attained an enviable position in its industry and [the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec] is pleased to support its international expansion.”

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

Read: CPPIB to sell stake in London real estate, Caisse invests in renewable assets in Spain