Munich Re Invests in German Wind Energy Plants

As part of an ongoing investment project in renewable energy, Munich Re said it concluded a deal to invest in wind power plants in Germany.

Through its asset manager, MEAG, Munich Re said it will acquire 40 wind turbines in 11 wind farm plants that will have an overall output of 73 megawatts. The company said the investment for its reinsurance segment will total "in the low three-digit million range."

The seller in the deal is wpd AG of Bremen, "one of the leading project developers and operators in the European wind energy market," said Munich Re.

Located in Thuringia, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Saxony-Anhalt and Lower Saxony, nearly all of the wind parks involved are "already on the grid," according to Munich Re.

Thomas Blunck, Munich Re’s board member responsible for the reinsurance group’s investments, said the reinsurer will benefit from its own expertise in the renewable energy market. "Our scientists determine the meteorological suitability of locations for wind power plants, while our engineers assess the technical aspects of the plants, their risks and performance," he said in a statement. "We will also use this know-how in the future to build up investments in renewable energies and to achieve attractive returns."

The investment is part of Munich Re’s Renewable Energy and New Technologies (RENT) program. The reinsurer said it will invest up to 2.5 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in renewable energy and new environmental technology over the "next few years" through the RENT program.

Munich Re launched the RENT program at the start of 2010, and so far has invested funds "in the low three-digit million range" mainly on photovoltaic panels and Germany and elsewhere in Europe. MEAG is responsible for selecting and managing the investments, Munich Re said.

Earlier this year, Munich Re and broker Marsh Inc. announced an insurance solution to cover photovoltaic modules against the risk of performance deterioration (BestWire, May 28, 2010).