Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners P/S, or CIP, is a fund management company with a mission — and a very Danish one at that. With four funds, focuses in Europe, North America and East Asia, and around €6.8 billion under management, the company is firmly rooted in sustainability and renewable energy with investments in a wide range of energy infrastructure assets spanning offshore and onshore wind to biomass and waste-to-energy.
Founded in 2012, CIP opened its US office in New York just last year — a milestone representing how far the Copenhagen-founded firm has come since its establishment seven years ago.
Denmark In New York caught up with CIP’s Associate Partner in New York William Demas for a talk about CIP’s ground-breaking work in New York and across the US and how the company’s Danish roots help guide it in its mission.
Denmark In New York: Tell us a little bit about Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and your role in supporting renewable energy infrastructure here in the US.
William Demas: Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners is a global fund management company focused on investing in and managing energy infrastructure, including offshore wind, onshore wind, solar PV, biomass and energy-from-waste, transmission and distribution, and other energy assets like reserve capacity and storage. CIP is a pioneer in the industry, especially in offshore wind — both globally and in the US. In 2018, we were awarded the US’ largest scale offshore wind project off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, together with Avangrid Renewables, named Vineyard Wind. Our third fund, CI III, is also the world’s largest renewable fund to date. I am based in the New York office where I lead our North America investment activity. We have made significant investments into US infrastructure assets over the last several years.
Sustainability is a keyword for Danish businesses and for Denmark. Does CIP’s adherence to Danish values help define its mission and investments?
Our Danish roots certainly helped lead us to the forefront of the sustainable investment community given Denmark’s (and Europe’s for that matter) commitment to sustainability. We have been able to apply these Danish principals into a global mission of sustainable investment in energy infrastructure. The key aspects of renewable technologies, especially in wind and biomass, come from Denmark. Being that CIP is a part of a larger Danish ecosystem, that has helped us in the US.
CIP works in Europe, East Asia and North America. What are some of the challenges that are particular to CIP’s experiences here in the US?
William Demas: While the US is a large market, it is also viewed as one of the more attractive investment environments which makes competition a bit more fierce. Further, there are particular nuances around renewable energy investments in the US that tend to make the projects more complex.
What does CIP bring to the table in the US that sets it apart from other fund management companies?
While CIP is a fund management company that invests in projects that produce long-term and stable cash-flows, we have the unique ability to understand development and assess project risks. In turn, this allows us to invest earlier in a project’s development cycle and help de-risk the asset. At CIP, we are truly industrialists that take a hands-on approach to managing our projects, which is made possible by engaging early on in the project development phase and, in turn, enables us to take on large and complex projects.
What is the best thing about working in the US?
Despite some perceptions, the US is a market that is very supportive of energy infrastructure, making it an attractive market for CIP. Further, the general business environment is quite efficient in the US, allowing us to do repeat business with our partners and the communities we work with.
Ema Seferovic is the Press and Communications Intern at DenmarkInNY.