Renewable energy player Gaelectric raises €90m in funding

28 Nov 2013

Dublin-based renewable energy player Gaelectric has raised €90m in additional funding to support the rollout of wind and energy storage projects in Ireland, the US and UK.

BlueBay Ireland Corporate Credit, a vehicle established by BlueBay Asset Management with substantial investment from the National Pensions Reserve Fund of Ireland, is providing €30m in business development and expansion funding to Gaelectric, which will be available to support the growth of all aspects of Gaelectric’s business.

German Landesbank, Nord/LB, have structured a €56m (stg£47m) project debt facility to finance the build out of Gaelectric’s 42MW wind farm at Dunbeg, Co Derry.  

Dunbeg has a grid connection and full planning approval. Site preparation works began earlier this year. Dunbeg will be the third operating wind farm delivered by Gaelectric following operating projects at Skrine in Co Roscommon (2011) and Carn Hill (2013).

Commercial operation of Dunbeg is planned to begin in August 2014. Nord/LB also participated in the funding round concluded by Gaelectric earlier this year. Proventus Capital Partners has also increased its existing portfolio finance facility with Gaelectric by €6m.

Most advanced energy project of its kind in Europe

The latest funding follows the successful conclusion of a previous funding round which raised €65m in debt finance earlier this year for the development of its near-term pipeline of 165MW of wind-energy projects on the island of Ireland.

Gaelectric recently announced a strategic alliance with international engineering firm Dresser-Rand to develop bulk energy storage projects using compressed air energy storage (CAES) technology beginning with Gaelectric’s CAES project near Larne, Co Antrim, which is the most advanced project of its type in Europe.

“Our progress in 2013 has been rapid, on both the corporate/funding side and on the project-development/operations side of our business,” said Gaelectric CEO Brendan McGrath.

“This additional funding will allow us maintain the momentum we have created through next year and focus on our project milestones which ultimately create the value for our partners and investors,” McGrath said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years