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Talanx’s infrastructure investments are helping to drive forward the green energy revolution

From rail networks through expanding the fibre-optic network down to universities and wind and solar farms: at the end of 2020, Talanx’s infrastructure portfolio already comprised 53 projects in 12 different European countries. This piece uses three examples to show how these projects are helping the Group meet its sustainability goals and how Talanx is helping green electricity production and the green energy revolution. We start our journey through Talanx’s infrastructure universe with a visit to a 20-turbine wind farm in north-east Saxony-Anhalt, near the village of Mahlwinkel in the Altmark. After this we move on to Spain and the Bienvenida solar farm, which has been supplying up to 80,000 households with green electricity since December 2020. Finally, we switch to France, where Talanx is involved in two major infrastructure projects to build energy-saving fibre-optic networks. Before we start, though, let’s run through a few general facts and figures about this business area.

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Wind power:

The Mahlwinkel wind farm is located outside the village of the same name in the Altmark, just under 50 kilometres north-east of Magdeburg. It has a total of 20 turbines, whose blades turn 140 metres up in the air. The farm generates 90 million kilowatt hours of green electricity a year, enough to supply roughly 25,000 households. The aim is to ensure that green electricity production goes hand in hand with species conservation as far as is possible. In line with this, turbines can anticipate dangers to wildlife – such as to birds migrating through the area at certain times of the year or that are active at certain times of the day – and then switch themselves off automatically. The same thing also happens in the case of meteorological data.

Talanx is one of Germany’s largest investors in wind turbines, both onshore and offshore. It has a total of 21 wind farms in its portfolio, three of which are out at sea. Talanx was also involved in financing the “Gode Wind 1” in Germany’s North Sea – the first offshore wind farm to use a green bond.

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© Goetz Schleser

Solar power plants:

The Bienvenida solar farm, which is located near Badajoz in Spain and is one of the largest in Europe, has 550,000 solar modules capable of generating 180 megawatts (MW) of electricity on 180 hectares. Construction was completed in October 2020 despite the difficulties caused by the coronavirus crisis, and the plant has been feeding electricity into the grid since December of the same year. The facility in Bienvenida can provide up to 80,000 households with electricity. It does not require any feed-in subsidies.

Talanx has a total of seven solar power plants in its portfolio. For example, the Company provided roughly EUR 250 million in finance for solar power plants in Spain in 2020. These are helping to save almost 63,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

However, Talanx is not just investing in generating green electricity using wind and solar farms. Thanks to its equity interest in transmission system operator Amprion, Talanx also accounts for a sizeable portion of the billions of euros being invested in Germany’s electricity grid infrastructure as the country transitions to green energy.

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Communications infrastructure:

Talanx is helping lay another type of cable in France, where it is co-financing fibre-optic links. The Group helped launch two such projects in 2020. A number of studies have also shown that, since it uses less electricity, fibre-optic technology offers a comparatively sustainable solution without compromising on performance.

Talanx’s participation in financing the French fibre-optic project in April 2020 was its first investment in this new asset class. It is contributing EUR 200 million as part of an international debt finance transaction worth a total of EUR 2.1 billion. The money is to be used to expand the fibre-optic network in areas that had previously had only poor to medium access to fast Internet. As a result, the project will supply a significant number of French households with fibre-optic Internet.

In the second investment that it made in expanding fibre-optic Internet facilities in France last year, Talanx is contributing more than EUR 60 million to another international debt finance transaction with a term of 20 years. The project in question aims to install roughly 2 million fibre-to-the-home connections over the next four years.