RPMI Railpen (Railpen), which manages £30 billion of assets on behalf of the railways pension schemes, has acquired an operational wind farm on the west coast of Scotland in its second direct investment in the UK renewable energy sector.

Railpen purchased 90% of Carraig Gheal Wind Farm in Argyll and Bute from GreenPower International Ltd, an independent UK renewable energy developer. Both parties agreed not to disclose the terms of the transaction.

The wind farm, consisting of twenty 2.3 megawatt (MW) turbines, has been operational since 2013 and benefits from support under the Renewables Obligation scheme. The farm has a total capacity of 46MW – enough to power c. 32,000 households with clean, renewable energy.

This purchase adds to Railpen’s direct investments in the sector, following last year’s acquisition of Tralorg Wind Farm in South Ayrshire, Scotland, which is made up of eight 2.35MW turbines, and is scheduled to be operational this year. These investments are held within the Scheme’s Long-term Income Fund, which makes asset-backed investments in real estate and infrastructure.

Lewis Vanstone, Deputy Portfolio Manager of Railpen’s Long-term Income Fund, said: “The acquisition of Carraig Gheal Wind Farm fits naturally into our investment strategy. The project’s operating track record, as well as its sustainable, long-dated and asset-backed income characteristics provide the exact qualities that are attractive for our Long-term Income Fund. The experience and expertise of our partner, GreenPower, ensure this deal will be of great long-term value for our scheme members.”

Through the transaction, Railpen was advised by Pinsent Masons LLP, Ernst & Young LLP, Everoze and Willis Towers Watson.

GreenPower will retain a 10% shareholding in Carraig Gheal Wind Farm and will continue to provide ongoing operations and commercial management services to the project.

Rob Forrest, CEO, GreenPower International Ltd, said:
“We are delighted to welcome Railpen as partners at Carraig Gheal, a project which is a significant part of our portfolio. We look forward to working with them on this and other opportunities in the future, as we help to deliver a zero carbon economy.”

GreenPower was advised by Gneiss Energy, Wood, CMS and RSM.