Legal & General has made its first UK offshore wind investment, today announcing plans to channel £300m into what promises to be the world’s largest offshore wind project.
The project in question, the 660MW Walney Extension, is being built by Danish developers Ørsted – formerly DONG Energy – and will provide enough power for 590,000 homes once it is completed in 2019.
The deal is Legal & General’s second-largest debt infrastructure investment to date, behind its £400m investment in the London Gateway Port refinancing in 2016.
Charles-Henry Lecointe, senior investment manager at LGIM Real Assets, suggested the move could soon be followed by further investments in clean energy.
“We have a strong appetite for future investments into this sector as well as other renewable sectors, recognising the importance the offshore wind industry can have for providing clean energy and stimulating job growth in the UK,” he said in a statement. “Legal & General continues to be committed to investing in key UK infrastructure assets which will have a major impact on stimulating economic growth while ensuring long-term cash flow for pension funds.”
The news follows fresh data earlier this year indicating the growing investment in offshore wind and its attractiveness to institutional investors. Figures from construction industry analysts Barbour ABI indicate offshore wind farms accounted for 42 per cent of total construction value for the utilities and power sector, and a fifth of the country’s entire infrastructure sector, in 2016.