Although 2015 was a very challenging year for the energy industry, our portfolio of high-quality, long-life, critical energy infrastructure assets performed very well. Comparable earnings and funds generated from operations reached record levels, while we continued to safely deliver energy every day to millions of people and businesses.
Our North American infrastructure assets are largely underpinned by cost-of-service regulated business models or long-term contracts with credit-worthy counterparties, resulting in highly predictable cash flow streams with minimal commodity or volume throughput risk.
In 2015, these assets produced record cash flow of $4.5 billion. In addition, we are currently proceeding with $25 billion of near-term growth projects. Over the medium to longer term, we are advancing an additional $45 billion of commercially secured, large-scale projects and various other initiatives that have the potential to create significant additional long-term shareholder value.In July 2016, TransCanada completed the largest business transaction undertaken since merging with NOVA in 1998 when we acquired Columbia Pipeline Group. The acquisition significantly expands our natural gas pipelines business in the U.S. and provides attractive growth opportunities for our company.
Looking forward, based on the stability of our base business, our visible near-term growth portfolio and our financial strength, we expect our common share dividend to continue to grow at an average annual rate of eight to 10 per cent through 2020. Success in advancing our long-term growth initiatives could further extend and augment future dividend growth.
TransCanada remains a leader in each of our three core businesses, and each business – despite commodity price weakness – remains competitive in markets with strong fundamentals for continued growth.