The UK Green Investment Bank Offshore Wind Fund, together with managed co-investment entities (the Fund), is the world's first dedicated offshore wind fund and Europe’s largest dedicated renewable energy fund, with assets under management of £1.12bn.
The combination of natural resources (strong and consistent wind), favourable locations for turbines, a robust regulatory regime and a well-established and experienced industry has helped the UK secure its position as one of the global leaders in the development of offshore wind.
In addition to our own investments in the UK’s offshore wind market, the UK Green Investment Bank established a fund, through its wholly owned subsidiary UK Green Investment Bank Financial Services Limited (GIBFS), to invest in operating offshore wind farms in the UK.
Attracting new capital and creating a liquid market for operating assets is crucial to the continued growth of the sector and will also help to reduce the long-term cost of finance. New investors also allow the original developers to sell down their stakes and use the proceeds to finance new projects.
The Fund was successful in attracting new and different investors to offshore wind. Investors in the Fund include a number of UK-based pension funds as well as international institutional investors, including one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds and a leading European life and pension company.
The Fund’s portfolio consists of interests in six operational wind farms, namely Sheringham Shoal, a 317 MW offshore wind farm located off the North Norfolk coast; Rhyl Flats and Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farms, both located off the coast of North Wales with total capacities of 90 MW and 576 MW respectively; Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farms, two adjacent operational wind farms with an aggregate installed capacity of 194 MW; and Lincs, a 270 MW wind farm located 5km off the Lincolnshire coast alongside Lynn and Inner Dowsing.
Collectively these projects have a capacity of 1.45GW producing over 4,500 GWh renewable electricity each year, resulting in the avoidance of almost 2 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
The UK Green Investment Bank Offshore Wind Fund and managed co-investment entities are managed by GIBFS. GIBFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. GIBFS’s Pillar 3 Disclosure document is available to download below.
Fund Managing Director
Fund Managing Director
As Fund Managing Director, Karl Smith is responsible for managing the UK Green Investment Bank Offshore Wind Fund. The fund is the world’s first dedicated offshore wind fund and is managed by UK Green Investment Bank Financial Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of the UK Green Investment Bank.
Karl has extensive experience in principal equity investment, debt investments and financial advisory across the energy and infrastructure sector. He joined the UK Green Investment Bank in 2012 and led the Bank’s principal equity investments in the offshore wind sector. He previously held similar positions at a number of organisations including Babcock & Brown, ABN Amro and Macquarie Bank.
Karl holds a Bachelor of Commerce with honours in Finance from the University of Melbourne.
Alexis Ulens has over 17 years of experience in the development, construction, financing and operation of energy-related infrastructure projects in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Prior to joining the UK Green Investment Bank, Alexis was Head of Asset Management at EISER Infrastructure Partners LLP and a member of the board in multiple investee companies, with responsibility to manage equity investments (often in partnership with industrial investors) for four years.
Previously, Alexis was an Executive Director in the Energy team at WestLB and a Director in the Infrastructure & Energy Finance team at Citigroup, where he advised on, underwrote or arranged limited-recourse financings for over ten years(including green/brownfield project, acquisition and reserve-based financings).
Alexis completed an MBA at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA and also holds an Industrial Engineering degree.