The Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC), an insurer of defined benefit pension schemes, has invested £175 million in solar energy, aiming to build 18 solar parks.

According to PIC, the parks will generate electrical capacity to power almost 17,500 households each year. The investment is part of PIC’s in-house ESG risk assessment framework, which takes into consideration  “the community impact, potential environmental disruption, staff health and safety, as well as project accountability.’’ Since 2012, PIC has invested over £1.5 billion in renewable energy, including £777 million in solar energy.

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PIC’s investment in solar energy is aligned with the accelerating growth in global investments in renewable energy worldwide. As it was reported by the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable sources such as wind and solar have been growing at their fastest rate in the past 20 years with an additional 45% increase of energy capacity in 2020. In addition, the IEA reported that renewable energy is expected to account for 90% of global power capacity increases in 2021 and 2022.

The solar parks are owned by Q-Energy, a European investor and asset manager in the renewable energy sector, and they benefit from the Spanish regulatory framework which guarantees an agreed level of return.

Florence Carasse, the Senior Debt Origination Manager at PIC, said:

“PIC is a committed investor in renewable energy with total investments of more than £1.5 billion in the sector, as a socially beneficial outcome of our purpose. Q-Energy has once again shown great knowledge and expertise in structuring deals that allow long-term investors such as PIC to invest in clean energy. By funding infrastructure projects dedicated to tackling climate change, PIC’s investments help to secure pension payments to our 273,000 policyholders and benefit society as a whole.”