VALOREM and Octopus Energy Investments (OEI) have entered into a joint venture for the construction and operation of 71.4MW of wind capacity in Finland. The deal covers two wind farms in the south-west of Finland called Saunamaa and Suolakangas. VALOREM developed these wind farms together with local partner Megatuuli. The project represents a first Nordic transaction and first unsubsidised onshore wind development for OEI.
While maintaining a minority stake, VALOREM will manage construction and operation of both wind farms through its subsidiaries VALREA, VALEMO and its local partner Megatuuli. The deal will be VALOREM’s first investment and construction in the Finnish market, leveraging its international experience from wind farm development, construction and operation. Seventeen Vestas V150 4.2 MW turbines with tip heights of up to 230m will be constructed with total expected annual generation of 280GWh. These assets represent an investment of c. €80M.
OEI is a UK-based fund management business with c.£8billion of funds under management and with a focus on renewable energy. Its move into Finland builds on the company’s track record in Europe and Australia, where it has attracted significant retail and institutional funds since entering the UK renewables market in 2010. Since then, OEI has accelerated the growth of local renewables markets by providing flexible funding opportunities to support the development, construction and long-term management of assets.
Jean-Yves Grandidier, founder and president of VALOREM said: “We are very pleased to initiate the construction of our first Finnish wind farms. We continue our strategy as an independent power producer and look forward to a successful partnership with Octopus. These two projects mark the beginning of a successful platform for VALOREM in the Nordics with a portfolio of 700MW+ of assets under development with Megatuuli. We have been able to take advantage of a site with very good characteristics which will allow us to sell electricity directly to the market. However, from a long-term point of view a price mechanism will be necessary for the successful development of wind power and the accomplishment of EU objectives.”
Alex Brierley, Co-Head of OEI said: “We continue our rapid growth within renewable energy and are pleased to enter the Nordic market via this partnership with Valorem. Our mission is to accelerate the transition to a future powered by renewable energy and this milestone project shows our ability to broaden and scale our existing experience to other European markets.” He continued: “We are also delighted to be partnering with Valorem in what represents a landmark deal for us both, bringing our combined experience and skillsets to Finland for the first time.”
Lauri Lammivaara, Managing Director of Megatuuli said: “We are very proud of these wind farms and these are amongst the most productive wind farms in Finland, with estimated net capacity factor of around 45%. Megatuuli is also committed to assist during construction and operational phases.”
Construction will start immediately, and the wind farms are expected to be in commercial operation by late 2020.
The following advisors led to the success of this transaction: NEWSEC as financial advisor to VALOREM, WATSON FARLEY & WILLIAMS, KROGERUS and HPP as legal advisors to VALOREM, LINKLATERS as legal advisors to OCTOPUS, K2 and NATURAL POWER as Technical Advisor to OCTOPUS and VALOREM respectively.