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Allianz gets foot into US renewables market

Allianz has announced its first investment in the US renewables market. Europe's largest insurer is committing part of the tax equity for two wind farms developed by EDF in New Mexico in a bid to look beyond Europe.

German insurer Allianz and Bank of America Merrill Lynch have committed the tax equity for two wind farms in the US developed by EDF Renewable Energy, which has played a leading role in getting wind projects in the United States off the ground.

The two wind farms in question are adjacently located in Roosevelt County, New Mexico. Allianz Capital Partners reported Monday the combined 150 turbines produced clean energy to power some 170,000 households.

According to a press release issued Monday, it's a significant first step for Allianz in the US renewables market, with further investments in the field likely "in the near and medium term."

Contributing to the low-carbon economy

The head of Renewables at Allianz Capital Partners, David Jones, said Allianz's first investment in the renewables segment outside the European market had to be viewed as a major milestone for the company's business.

Watch video 03:32

Renewable energy as an economic factor

He added it was Allianz's first joint venture in the field as all its European commitments were 100-percent owned by Allianz insurance investors.

For the two wind farms in New Mexico, Allianz is providing around 40 percent of the total tax equity, accounting for 30 percent of total project costs.

David Jones said large investors such as Allianz were attracted to the project sizes in the US which tended to be much larger there than in Europe.

"This is appealing [to us] as roughly the same amount of resources - in terms of time and due diligence expenses - is required to invest in larger projects as in smaller ones."

Allianz has invested in 60 wind farms and seven solar parks

located in Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Finland and now the United States.

hg/cjc (Reuters, Allianz Capital Partners)

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