Infratil and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund have teamed up to invest in US renewable energy development company Longroad Energy Holdings, which is eyeing developments worth as much as US$100 million ($139m).
The Kiwi team, which has previously invested together in Australian retirement village RetireAustralia, New Zealand's Metlifecare and fuel retailer Z Energy, will own Longroad in partnership with the company's management team, Wellington-based Infratil said.
Longroad is focused on the development of utility-scale wind and solar generation in North America, the company said.
Infratil has been scouting for new investments, having accumulated $1 billion of capital after selling its Z Energy, Lumo and iSite holdings in the 2016 financial year. The Longroad investment gives the Kiwi team exposure to one of the largest and fastest growing renewable markets in the world with an experienced US management team who were previously involved in First Wind, which Infratil said was one of the most successful independent renewable energy development teams in the US over the past decade.
"We sought an experienced and proven management team with the ability to operate a large-scale development platform," said Infratil chief executive Marko Bogoievski. "Following an extensive review of potential opportunities, Longroad emerged as the best candidate to realise our ambitions in the market."
The management team at Longroad has operated across different states, regulatory environments and transmission networks in the US, with a track record of developing, financing, constructing and operating utility-scale renewable generating facilities, having completed development and financing for projects with a capacity over 4 gigawatts, he said.
The Longroad investment will be managed by Infratil's manager HRL Morrison & Co.
Infratil shares closed down 3.7 per cent $3.13 last night. The stock is rated a "buy" according to the average recommendation of five analysts polled by Reuters.