Danish pension commits $400m to clean energy

The €54bn ATP pension scheme is the latest institution to join the cleantech bandwagon with a commitment to New Jersey-based Hudson Clean Energy Partners.

ATP, one of the largest pension funds in Europe with Dkr400 billion (€54 billion; $73 billion) under management, has made its first ever foray into clean energy with a $400 million commitment to Hudson Clean Energy, a vehicle managed by New Jersey-based firm Hudson Clean Energy Partners.

ATP joins Credit Suisse as a limited partner in Hudson’s debut fund, which has a target size of $1 billion. Credit Suisse committed $300 million in May last year.

Hudson Clean Energy will make up to $9 billion worth of investments into solar, wind and hydro energy, as well as new forms of energy, such as biofuels and biomass, said ATP in a statement.

Clean energy is climbing up the agenda of many investment organisations as part of a wider trend towards socially responsible investment. The Ontario government, for example, has created a $650 million Next Generation Jobs Fund, which it will invest in companies developing environmentally conscious cars, fuels, technologies and products.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, meanwhile, made a recent commitment of $200 million to Khosla Ventures Expansion Fund, a growth capital fund run by Sun Microsystems founder Vinod Khosla. The fund, which hopes to raise $1 billion, will invest 75 percent of its capital in cleantech ventures.

“Climate change and the movement away from traditional energy resources will be a huge driver for investment for us,” said Lars Rohde, ATP’s chief executive officer, in an interview, adding that the fund will most likely aim for an allocation of 2 percent to cleantech investments.

Hudson Clean Energy Partners was founded in 2007 by Neil Auerbach, who created and ran Goldman Sachs’ US alternative energy investment business before launching Hudson with Goldman colleagues Daniel Gross and Joseph Slamm. Last year the firm bought Madrid-based wind and solar project Helium Energy.

Hudson portfolio company Recurrent Energy, in which the firm invested $75 million last year, this week acquired 350 megawatts of solar power projects from Chicago-based renewables firm UPC Energy Group.