NZ Super Fund and Infratil back new North American wind and solar developer
The New Zealand Superannuation Fund and Infratil are embarking on a plan to build wind and solar plants in North America.
Infratil, a Wellington-based infrastructure investor said up to US$100 million (NZ$138.6m) would be invested in Longroad Energy, a new Boston headquartered company.
"Longroad's focus is primarily in the development of utility-scale wind and solar generation throughout North America," Infratil said in a statement.
NZ Super was formed in 2001 to help fund the costs of the New Zealand Superannuation pension. Despite the National Government suspending payments to the fund, its asset base had grown to $31.4 billion by the end of August 2016.
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Infratil, managed by investment bank Morrison & Co, previously invested alongside NZ Super in the purchase in 2010 of the downstream assets of Shell, which were later rebranded as Z Energy.
Both sides made hundreds of millions of dollars from the deal.
Infratil is also the majority owner of TrustPower, which is set to demerge its mainly Australian windfarm business, Tilt Renewables.
Longroad was founded in 2016, made up of a team which previously ran First Wind, which Infratil claimed was "one of the most successful independent renewable energy development teams in the US over the past decade".
Management of Longroad will initially own 10 per cent of the company, with the balance held by Infratil and NZ Super.
Infratil chief executive Marko Bogoievski said the company had been searching for North American renewable energy developers.
"We sought an experienced and proven management team with the ability to operate a large scale development platform."
Matt Whineray, chief investment officer for the NZ Superannuation Fund, said the organisation was attracted to the returns available in international renewables.
"[T]he investment in Longroad, with the capability that the team offers, will help us access this sector and the shifting trend to clean energy in the United States."