Dutch pension fund invests $384 million in three U.S. projects

Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP (ABP), a pension fund for government and education employees in the Netherlands, has agreed to invest approximately $384 million in three utility-scale solar projects in the United States. All of the projects are owned by the Swiss-based asset management company Capital Dynamics.

One of the three project is the 250 MW-AC Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project in Nevada, which Capital Dynamics acquired from U.S. solar manufacturer First Solar for an unspecified sum in March. GE Energy Financial Services is also sharing minority tax equity interests in the project. First Solar commissioned the facility in March.

The solar plant is the first utility-scale solar project completed on tribal land in the United States. The project can power 11,000 homes and will provide electricity to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), through a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

Another of the three project is the 280 MW-AC California Flats Solar Project in Monterey County, California that Capital Dynamics also bought from First Solar in August. The first 130 MW section of the project is expected to be connected to the grid in the fourth quarter of this year, while the second 150 MW phase, currently under construction, is planned to come online by the end of 2018. Both sections are contracted under a long-term PPA with an unidentified offtaker.

The third project is the 328 MW-DC Mount Signal 3 project, which Capital Dynamics acquired from 8minutenergy in July. At the time, the Swiss asset manager said it was arranging tax equity and debt financing for the project, with financial close expected in late July 2017.

The project is located in the city of Calexico in California’s Imperial Valley, and is the third phase of the 800 MW Mount Signal Solar Farm. First Solar was selected as the panel supplier, providing 2.8 million Series 4 thin film panels. 8minutenergy secured a long-term power contract for the project with utility Southern California Edison (SCE) in 2014.

“This investment is in line with our ambition to increase the number of investments in solar and renewables by 2020. All three solar parks have concluded long-term contracts with energy companies. This gives them a long-term and stable return for our members”, said ABP president Corien Wortmann–Kool.