Saturday 1 October 2016

Gaelectric raises €38m for new wind-farm operations

Published 08/08/2016 | 02:30

Gaelectric operates more than 20 wind farms in Ireland (Stock picture)
Gaelectric operates more than 20 wind farms in Ireland (Stock picture)

Irish renewable energy company Gaelectric has secured €38m in financing from AIB to build two wind farms in Co Kilkenny.

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Gaelectric announced yesterday that it ­concluded ­agreements on a total of €38m in financing packages for ­construction of the wind farms at Ballybay and Foyle in the county.

Ballybay was acquired by Gaelectric in 2015, while Foyle is being managed by the company on behalf of Art Generation Limited. Along with Cnoc Wind Farm near Grange in Co Tipperary, the sites comprise the Blanchfield Cluster, which is designed to feed into a 34 -megawatt underground grid connection near Thurles.

Ballybay Wind Farm, near Tullaroan in Co Kilkenny, will operate six Enercon turbines and generate 13.8 MW of ­electricity - enough to ­supply around 9,300 homes. ­Foyle Wind Farm 2.5kms away will comprise four Enercon ­turbines, generating 9.6 MW of electricity. Both are due to become operational during the second half of next year.

The AIB financing package runs for 15 years. The wind farms are being built to be operated under the management of Gaelectric's Trading and Market Services (GTAMS) unit under 15-year agreements.

"We acquired our interests in the Blanchfield Cluster around the middle of 2015," Gaelectric chief operating officer Barry Gavin, said. "We are very pleased to have concluded financing agreements to fund construction just 12 months later.

"In the last four months, we have also energised three wind farms with a total installed capacity of 21MW, at Leabeg in Co Offaly, Roosky in Co Roscommon, and Monnaboy in Co Derry. Our operating and 'under construction' wind portfolios now comprise about 240 MW across 16 projects. We expect that the momentum in our wind business will continue."

Gaelectric was founded in 2004 and operates more than 20 wind farms across the country.

Irish Independent

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