Ullico Inc. recently announced a $50 million commitment to finance new or operating solar energy projects through a partnership with Panasonic Eco Solutions North America (Panasonic) and Coronal Management, LLC (Coronal). The first project to be completed under the agreement is a 16.2 megawatt portfolio of CREST (California Renewable Energy Small Tariff) projects in Tulare and Kings Counties in Central California. The portfolio has secured 20-year power purchase agreements with Southern California Edison and is set for completion September 2014. Ullico Investment Advisors, Inc. established the fund in 2012 and seeks investment opportunities in the construction, maintenance, refurbishment and operation of the nation’s infrastructure.
"Ullico believes that labor has an important role to play in the development and management of renewable energy infrastructure. Teaming up with industry leaders Coronal and Panasonic gives labor the opportunity to invest in solar energy with experienced partners," said Edward M. Smith, president and CEO of Ullico Inc.
"As with our real estate investments, our core objective is to provide sound returns for our investors," Smith continued. "The fund is committed to its belief that the use of union labor in these projects adds value to the investors. In turn, the creation of jobs generates more revenue for union pension funds. It’s a circle of life."
Members of The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 100 in Fresno, California are working on the installation of the solar panels and welcome Ullico’s investment in the project. "A project like this means thousands of work hours for our men and women," said Kevin L. Cole, business manager/financial secretary, IBEW Local 100. "You’re talking about the make or break for whether a member’s going to keep their car or home. We’re making money though our pension investments and members are building a secure retirement. It’s been a lifesaver."
Over the last 18 months, Ullico completed its first two infrastructure investment transactions. The first of these investments will make critical capital improvements to the water and wastewater infrastructure of Rialto, California with Ullico serving as the majority owner of the facility. For the second infrastructure deal, Ullico acquired a minority stake in an operating wind farm in the United States.
"The partnership with Panasonic and Coronal fits very well in our investment approach for infrastructure which has focused on building a portfolio of assets which are diverse and possess long-term contractual revenue and expense streams," said Jeff Murphy, managing director, Infrastructure Investments, Ullico Investment Advisors, Inc.
Investment products available through Ullico Investment Company Inc. are made available to properly qualified institutional and accredited investors only.