European asset manager Aquila Capital has completed the acquisition of Norsk Gronnkraft AS, which operates 33 mini-hydro power projects in central and southern Norway, from Akershus Energi, Energiselskapet Buskerud, E-CO Energi and Ostfold Energi.
Norsk Gronnkraft owns and operates the regionally diversified portfolio of small-scale hydropower plants, generating about 210GWh of energy per year. The average age of the facilities is eight years.
Through a bilateral agreement with NGK Construction, Norsk Gronnkraft’s former unit, Aquila Capital is looking to add further generating facilities to the Norwegian hydropower platform.
“We aim to increase our production volume in Norway during the next five years to over 1,000GWh,” said Oldrik Verloop, Co-Head of Hydropower at Aquila Capital.
The acquisition is the third investment in Norwegian hydropower by Aquila Capital for its clients. In July 2014 a 33% stake was acquired in Tinfos AS, an operator of two large-scale and nine small-scale run-of-river hydropower facilities, by a partnership between Aquila Capital and APG, the investment manager that acts for ABP. In June 2011, funds advised by Aquila Capital also acquired 33% of Jorpeland Kraft AS, which operates two run-of-river installations in the vicinity of Stavanger in western Norway.
The latest investment in Norsk Gronnkraft AS further expands Aquila Capital’s position in Norway’s blue-green hydropower battery network, which is emerging as a potential key element in the success of the massive investment being made in on- and offshore wind power around the Baltic and North Seas. Norway is also reportedly close to agreeing to construct a 700km underwater power line that would allow the UK to import hydroelectric power from the country’s grid. The development of the world’s largest subsea interconnector could be in operation by 2020.