Macquarie raises €1.6bn for wind energy

Fund launched following success of investor’s first green energy fund, which it acquired when Macquarie Group purchased the Green Investment Bank from the UK government in 2017

A clean energy investment fund owned by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) has outstripped expectations, raising more than €1.6bn for low carbon projects after investors jumped on the opportunity to back assets that drive positive environmental change, the investment giant announced today.

MIRA, which is part of the asset management arm of Australian banking giant Macquarie Group, confirmed this morning that strong interest from institutional investors in Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific propelled the Macquarie Green Investment Group Renewable Energy Fund 2 (MGREF2) past its minimum investment target of €1bn.

The fund’s contribution to the low carbon transition was a “key driver of investor interest”, MIRA said, noting the largest portion of capital raised came from investors in Europe. Overall, the 25-year closed-end fund attracted commitments from 32 investors, ranging from pension funds, local government pension schemes, insurers, and sovereign wealth funds, it said.

MGREF2 will invest in a diversified portfolio of assets, including platforms and under-construction and operational wind and solar projects in Western Europe, North America, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand, according to MIRA.

Leigh Harrison, head of MIRA EMEA, said the fund was a natural progression for the asset manager, which became the owner of the world’s maiden operational offshore wind fund when parent company Macquarie Group purchased the taxpayer-backed Green Investment Bank from the UK government in 2017.

“As custodians of the world’s first dedicated operational offshore wind fund, we’ve been committed to developing a successor to harness deep institutional capital pools to help achieve net zero,” Harrison said. “MGREF2 is the next step in this journey and we are delighted with the strong support the fund has received from our investors.”

MIRA said MGREF2 has made two investments to date. It owns a 10 per cent stake in the 576MW Gwynt y Môr wind farm off the coast of Wales and a 50 per cent stake in a 268MW portfolio of operating residential rooftop solar projects across the US.

The investor’s original fund, dubbed MGREF1, manages a 1,450MW portfolio of six offshore wind farms around the UK.