Canadian pension fund Ontario Pension Trust Company (OPTrust) backed Spanish renewable energy investment company Bruc Energy has sold a 50% share in the venture to UK based private pension fund Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). It provides USS with a stake in a major pipeline of 4 GW of solar PV farms for €225 million ($275 million).
USS has entered into the agreement through its wholly-owned subsidiary and principal investment manager and advisor to the scheme, USS Investment Management. It said Spain’s solar irradiation and the national target to reach 100% renewable based generation by 2050 makes the country an attractive place to invest in solar energy. “In addition, the decades long lifespan of solar PV panels make them well-suited to USS in helping pay members’ pensions long into the future,” it explained.
The deal follows USS’s pledge to achieve net zero carbon status latest by 2050 in May 2021 after it had decided not to invest in thermal coal mining. Back then it announced likely actions to achieve its aim, including ‘continuing to build on the £1 billion both already invested and committed to new projects in developing a portfolio of low carbon investments such as investments in wind, solar and other sources of renewable energy’.
Bruc Energy will now be owned 50:50 by USS and BROP which is a vehicle owned by OPTrust and Spanish businessman Juan Bejar, with the latter as the president of the company and Luis Venero as the CEO. “This partnership is a key step to establishing Bruc as one of the more dynamic players in the renewables industry in Spain, because it ensures access to the funds to develop our current portfolio,” said Bejar.
In January 2021, Bruc Energy signed an exclusive agreement with Forestalia to acquire 2 GW solar PV generation capacity in Spain (see 2 GW Solar PV Capacity Exchanges Hands in Spain).