April 11, 2018 Read More →

North Sea Wind Farms Attracting New Investors


The expanding network of giant windmills in the North Sea—the largest such collection in the world—is turning into a windfall for some bankers helping institutional investors acquire a piece of Europe’s renewable energy market.

A record $9.36 billion of stakes in offshore wind farms were sold last year, up 77 percent from 2016, and refinancing of project debt doubled to $6.27 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance show. The 23 acquisition deals, almost all in Europe, were the most ever for the industry, and the average transaction price rose 69 percent to $407 million, an all-time high.

Investors are stepping up investment in offshore wind farms that are producing eight times more power than in 2008. After years of public subsidies, turbines as tall as the Eiffel Tower with blades longer than soccer fields are grabbing a bigger share of Europe’s electricity supply, replacing some coal-fired plants on land. With demand rising for renewable energy, developers are selling stakes in older projects to raise cash for new ones.

“Offshore wind makes up a significant and growing percent of the work we’re doing in infrastructure,” said Lisa McDermott, an executive director of project finance at ABN AMRO Bank NV in Amsterdam.

Among the financial institutions active in offshore wind deals are Green Giraffe BV, KPMG LLC, Societe Generale SA, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., and Natixis SA.

More: Giant Wind Turbines Start To Pay Off And Investors Want More

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