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Amazon green energy deal clicks for Farmland Partners

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Farmland Partners is looking for opportunities to diversify into power generation, after signing a deal that will provide green electricity to web shopping giant Amazon.

The US land investment group said that two of its farms in North Carolina will house a portion of a 208-megawatt wind farm.

The farm is being built by Iberdrola Renewables, to deliver power to Amazon data centres.

The 28-acre wind farm will yield Farmland Partners around $72,800 a year, over a 25-year lease, effectively increasing the rental yield of the 1,839 acre property on which they are located by 13%.

Increased returns

"Renewable energy projects have the potential to increase the returns we generate from our farm holdings," said Farmland Partners CEO Paul Pittman.

"This and other renewable energy projects under consideration are examples of how we pursue opportunities to increase rents on our land by finding additional revenue sources beyond traditional farm leases."

Farmland Partners says it "has in place or is considering" projects such as solar power leases, power line easements, pipeline easements, wind power easements, recreational leases, flyover rights and road projects.

Rapid growth

Farmland Partners has been growing rapidly since it floated in April last year, growing its land portfolio from 8,000 acres to more than 70,000 acres.

And last month the company grew its war chest with a $25m share offer.

"We intend to continue to acquire additional farmland to achieve scale in our portfolio and to diversify our portfolio by geography, crop type and tenant," Farmland Partners said at the time.

Blueberry purchase

The company said that capital raised would be used for the acquisition of new farmland, and suggested that it would be diversifying away from its core business of grains and row crops.

In June of this year, Farmland Partners made its first investment in permanent crop land, with a purchase of a $1.2m blueberry farm.

The deal, while small, represented the group's first foray into permanent cropland.


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