Cork-based BRI acquired by Ørsted in onshore windfarm expansion

16 Apr 2021

Garracummer windfarm, Co Tipperary. Image: Brookfield Renewable Ireland

Ørsted will acquire 100pc equity interest in Brookfield Renewable Ireland’s onshore windfarm business in a €571m deal.

Danish power company Ørsted has turned its focus to the European onshore windfarm market with the acquisition of Cork-headquartered Brookfield Renewable Ireland (BRI).

The leading energy company in Denmark has entered into an agreement to acquire 100pc equity interest in BRI’s onshore wind business for €571m, though the final price will be subject to customary adjustments.

BRI has 389MW of onshore windfarms under construction or in operation in Ireland and the UK, with another 149MW in advanced development and more than 1GW in the development pipeline.

Having previously focused its onshore business on the US market, Ørsted is now looking looked closer to home to expand its onshore windfarm reach in Europe. It currently has 4GW of onshore wind and solar projects in operation or under construction.

BRI’s existing management team will continue to run the business, which will be integrated into Ørsted’s onshore business unit over time.

Mads Nipper, group president and CEO of Ørsted, said the European market for onshore wind power is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.

“With the acquisition of BRI, we get a strong platform that expands our presence in onshore renewables to Europe, allowing us to continue our successful expansion of our onshore renewables business.”

Declan Flanagan, who leads Ørsted’s onshore business unit, added that BRI has a strong strategic and operational fit with Ørsted.

“The Irish and UK onshore markets offer attractive fundamentals, projects at scale, and value creation through a mix of development projects and repowering opportunities,” he said.

The transaction is expected to close by Q2 2021.

It is the latest move in the renewable energy space in Ireland. Last week, ESB announced a multibillion-euro programme that aims to deploy a range of renewable technologies in Moneypoint, Co Clare. The project will include a 1,400MW floating windfarm off the coast of Clare and Kerry.

Outside of wind power, it was announced this week that a new biogas production facility will be co-located alongside a 100MW data centre in Arklow. Heat generated by the data centre will be used to maintain the production process at the biogas facility, while the biogas can produce back-up power for the data centre.

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic