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Major Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has agreed to invest up to $1 billion in a new offshore wind business launched by Australia's Macquarie Group Ltd (MQG.AX) to develop projects around the world, the companies told Reuters on Thursday.

Soaring numbers of turbines planted off windy coastlines account for a large chunk of the renewable energy capacity targets set by countries such as the United States and Britain as part of a global drive to reduce planet-warming carbon emissions.

Pension and infrastructure funds often buy stakes in renewable energy generation projects, tempted by the predictable long-term returns, but it is less common for them to assume the risk of projects that have either not yet been built or not yet secured agreements from consumers to buy their power.

Under a deal with Macquarie's newly launched offshore wind developer, Corio Generation, Ontario Teachers' will invest up to $1 billion into the development of 14 fixed-bottom and floating wind farms in South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Ireland and Britain, representing around 9 gigawatts of capacity.

[Isla Binnie and Susanna Twidale]

More: Ontario Teachers to invest up to $1 bln in Macquarie offshore wind unit

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