Council pension funds join forces to back renewables

Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) and the London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) have announced they are investing 60m in British renewable energy projects.

The investment, which is the first made by the two Funds’ £500m infrastructure joint venture, will immediately fund £9m towards Leeming Biogas, with several more projects soon to be confirmed.

Leeming Biogas, a plant based in Yorkshire, processes an average of 80,000 tonnes of local food waste each year and injects over 600m3 of biomethane gas per hour into the local gas grid.

The remaining allocated money will be used to target a balanced and diversified portfolio of five to 10 UK bioenergy infrastructure projects, financing projects from planning consent through construction, with the intent of holding the operational plants through their economic life.

Speaking about the investment, Tameside Council Leader and Chair of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, Councillor Kieran Quinn, said: “I’m delighted that our collaboration with the LFPA has made its first investment. 

“The capital we have allocated will allow both Funds to increase investment in UK infrastructure while at the same time delivering the societal benefit of developing renewable energy projects across the country, including the North West.”

The Chairman of LPFA, Sir Merrick Cockell, added: “The steps we have taken with Greater Manchester Pension Fund over the past year are a prime example of how LGPS Funds can collaborate to make investments for the benefit of UK infrastructure and in order to meet their own long-term investment goals. 

“It’s our desire that others will see this success and look to see how they too can be a part of it.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues