APG and Vasa Vind announced today the launch into construction of the 288MW Åskalen onshore wind power project. Located in the central Sweden region of Jämtland, the project will comprise 80 Vestas V136 3.6MW turbines, making it the largest onshore wind power project in Sweden.

The total construction investment will amount to approximately EUR 300m, and commissioning will be completed in 2020 delivering a total power production close to 1TWh/year, equivalent to 50.000 Swedish households.

The cost to build Scandinavian wind power generation is among the lowest in Europe. The peninsula has strong and steady winds, and its scarce population density allows construction at a larger scale and with higher towers than in most European countries. Thanks to its industrial scale and excellent wind resource, the Åskalen project will be one of the most efficient wind farms in Europe.

In April 2017 Sweden announced the extension of its green certificate system for renewable power until 2030, adding 18TWh to the target to be reached by this date; Åskalen is one of the first projects to be launched in construction after this extension.

Pension funds ABP and PPF APG, the assets of which are managed by APG, will be the owners of the wind farm. This investment will contribute to ABP’s goal of increasing its investments in renewable energy fivefold (to € 5 bln) by 2020. Vasa Vind, a portfolio company of HgCapital’s Renewable Power Partners 2 fund, will be responsible for the construction and operations project management. Vestas will be responsible for the operations and maintenance of the wind farm through a 20-year contract. 

Swedbank, Roschier and Sweco advised APG on the transaction. DNB Markets, White & Case, Advokatfirman Oebergs and DNV-GL advised Vasa Vind and HgCapital. DNB Markets also provided long-term hedging for power and Elcertificates.

"We are delighted to partner with APG for the construction of this flagship project. After many years spent developing and optimizing this project to make it as competitive as possible, it is very exciting to now move into construction with such a strong financial partner", said Annette Eriksson, CEO of Vasa Vind.  

Dirk Hovers, Sr. Portfolio Manager Infrastructure at APG said: "Our clients’ aim is to increase strongly their investments in renewable energy while contributing to their risk-adjusted financial returns, therefore APG will take a leading role in initiating new projects. Scandinavian power is a strategic area for our infrastructure investments in renewables. We are looking forward to working with Vasa Vind and Vestas to bring into operations this project and add it to our infrastructure portfolio.

Allister Sykes, of HgCapital’s Renewable Power Team added: "Launching Åskalen into construction is a major milestone for our Swedish wind platform. We see ever more opportunities opening up for Vasa Vind to focus on developing more large scale, efficient projects, and further potential for market consolidation". 

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