As the raw number of solar panels installed each year grows, the resource is also becoming more and more accepted by investors, including risk-averse institutional investors.
As yet another confirmation of this trend, today, developer and independent power producer Invenergy announced that Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) has made an equity investment in its renewable energy business, increasing its stake to 52% of the division.
CDPQ is one of Canada’s largest institutional investors with $238 billion in assets, and manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. Such investors are typically more risk-averse than the venture capital firms that led investment in Canadian solar in the early days of the sector.
Mercom Capital CEO Raj Prabhu notes that this is not a new trend, and cites Mid-American’s 2014 investments in wind and solar projects as a pivotal moment. However, he says that each investment like this is significant.
“It reaffirms solar as an investment asset class, and shows the sector’s maturity, that these ultra-conservative funds see this sector as secure, and a good way to generate income with minimal risk,” Prabhu told pv magazine.
Invenergy Renewables’ global portfolio is mostly wind, at 13 GW of projects that are either contracted, under construction or in operation in the Americas and Europe. However, the company also has 15 solar projects in various stages, totaling 565 MW.
This includes a combined 439 MW of U.S. solar projects in Florida, California, Nevada, New York and North Carolina that are either under currently under construction or hold contracts, with the majority of this capacity in the pre-construction stage. A small portion is being built under build-transfer arrangements.