Norway fund buys €1.3bn Ørsted wind farm stake

Mie Holstad, Chief Real Assets Officer at Norges Bank Investment Management

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) has announced that Norway’s $1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund has made its first direct investment in a renewable energy infrastructure.

The fund has bought a 50% stake in the Borssele 1 and 2 wind farm off the Netherlands for €1.375 billion from Denmark’s Ørsted, which will continue to co-own and run the facility.

“We are excited to have made our first investment in unlisted renewable energy infrastructure and pleased to partner with Ørsted as the market leader in offshore wind,” said Mie Holstad, Chief Real Assets Officer at Norges Bank Investment Management.

“Borssele 1 & 2 is a high-quality offshore wind asset, and the acquisition is in line with our strategy to build a high-quality portfolio of wind and solar power generation assets.

“The unlisted renewable energy infrastructure strategy supplements our existing unlisted real estate portfolio well, and we draw on our long experience with direct investments.”

NBIM said the offshore wind farm has an installed capacity of 752 MW and produces energy equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of around one million Dutch households.

The fund said the Borssele is the largest operational offshore wind farm in the Netherlands – and the second largest operational offshore wind farm in the world.

It is located 23 kilometres off the coast of the Dutch region of Zeeland.

“Unlisted renewable energy infrastructure is a new asset class for the fund, which we invest in to improve the overall diversification of the fund,” said Norges Bank Investment Management CEO Nicolai Tangen.

“We look forward to continuing to execute on our investment strategy for unlisted renewable energy infrastructure.”

As part of the agreement, Ørsted said it will continue to provide long-term operations and maintenance (O&M) services from its O&M base at the Port of Vlissingen in the Netherlands.

Ørsted said it will also provide NBIM with “balancing services and a long-term route to market for the renewable electricity generated by Borssele 1 & 2.”

Martin Neubert, Chief Commercial Officer and Deputy Group CEO of Ørsted, said: “As one of the world’s largest institutional investors, Norges Bank Investment Management is making a difference by making sustainable investments.

“We’re delighted to welcome NBIM as partner on Borssele 1 & 2, which is a landmark project for the Netherlands’ transition to renewable energy, and we’re pleased to support NBIM in their strategy to invest in renewable energy infrastructure assets.”