First Reserve in JV with renewable firm

The specialist energy-focused firm has teamed up with Spain’s Renovalia Energy to target wind projects across Europe and North America.

Connecticut-based First Reserve Corporation (First Reserve) has partnered with Spanish renewable firm Renovalia Energy to invest in wind projects throughout Europe and North America, the joint venture partners announced in a statement.

First Reserve is investing $150 million into the joint venture, known as Renovalia Reserve, to fund new acquisitions. The partners are eyeing a 300-megawatt pipeline in Canada, Romania and Spain. Renovalia Reserve already has some wind in its sails thanks to a 295-megawatt portfolio of mostly Spanish wind projects that Renovalia Energy transferred to the vehicle.

“Renovalia Energy is a great partner to have in the wind energy industry,” commented John Barry, a director at First Reserve. “The combination of its track record and expertise, and its potential for significant international growth is extremely attractive to us.”

During the first nine months of this year, Renovalia Energy's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation grew by 27.5 percent to €76.5 million in relation to the first nine months of 2010. Its turnover also grew to €140 million compared to €93 million in the previous comparable period.

Private Equity International, Infrastructure Investor’s sister publication, exclusively reported that First Reserve has entered the race to acquire French business Tokheim, which makes petrol pumps and payment systems. PAI Partners and Rhone Capital are also thought to be chasing the French firm.

First Reserve, which manages a $9 billion private equity fund, closed its debut energy infrastructure fund on $1.2 billion in May this year. According to InfrastructureConnect, the fund’s investors include California State Teachers Retirement System, Maine Public Employees Retirement System and Teacher Retirement System of Texas. 

The energy infrastructure operation is headed by Connecticut-based managing director Mark Florian.