Pension fund managers Railpen have bought a 50% shareholding in AGR Power, a privately owned British renewable power developer, with over 1.1GW already generating across 55 low carbon projects.   No cash values were disclosed by the parties.

Railpen, formerly known as RPMI, runs the railways’ pensions schemes on behalf of its parent, the Railways Pension Trustee Company Limited. It manages £34 billion of assets on behalf of over 350,000 members.

Its investment will support AGR in achieving its target of putting over 500MW of high quality renewable assets into operation by 2029.

Railpen has committed to invest in AGR’s near-term UK solar, battery energy storage system (BESS), and greenhouse projects.    Its backing will enable construction before 2026 of 160MWp of solar arrays, of 150MW in BESS, as well as AGR’s second sustainable greenhouse.

London-based AGR was co-founded in 2011 by Oliver Breidt.

Besides bringing forward onshore wind projects in the UK and northern Ireland under the Feed-in Tariff, plus solar farms across southern England & Ireland, it is known for one of Britain’s biggest and most technologically advanced greenhouses, the Fenland Greenhouse near Ely, Cambridgeshire, pictured above.

The project spans 22 hectares and produces over 2.5 million vegetables every week at peak output. The complex is powered through a combination of water-sourced heat pumps and CHP gas engines, coupled with a back-up boiler. Fenland I greenhouse spans 60Ha and produces over 2.5 million cucumbers per week. The project was initiated in 2021 as a standalone greenfield development and delivered to Greencoat Capital, part of Schroder’s Capital, in 2022.

For Railpen, its AGR investment reflects its commitment to investing in infrastructure, including directing £500m to UK energy projects since 2019. The company will be represented on the AGR board by Lewis Vanstone and Cristiana Dochioiu. AGR’s co-founder Oliver Breidt will remain as group director.

Breidt said: “I’m incredibly pleased to announce our partnership with Railpen in what is a landmark move for us. Railpen’s investment and reputation will help propel AGR into new territories and technologies, including our 1GW pipeline in Italy, and see us expanding our presence in Germany and into further agricultural assets.

“I’m very pleased to be working with Lewis and Cristiana who bring with them a wealth of experience. This will be a transformative chapter for AGR and our mission.”

Dochioiu, investment manager at Railpen added: “AGR’s approach to sustainable infrastructure development and investment matches Railpen’s ethos for sustainability and providing essential infrastructure to the UK.

“We are excited to work with the AGR team and Oliver to further develop the pipeline at AGR and drive positive change through our investment portfolio, building the critical infrastructure needed to support the UK’s transition to net zero. Railpen’s scale and long-term approach makes us an ideal partner for AGR’s ambitions to enhance energy and food security in the UK and Europe.”

Railpen were advised by parties including CMS for legal services, Grant Thornton on financial and tax and Willis Towers Watson on insurance. AGR were advised by lawyers Eversheds Sutherland.


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