Capital Stage AG, a Hamburg-based solar and wind park operator, has announced a partnership with the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) to co-invest in a Power Capital (PC) portfolio, consisting of more than 20 solar farms with a total generating capacity of 140 megawatts (MW).
It marks the first time that ISIF has committed to financing solar park developments in the country.
The project involves developing more than 20 new solar parks primarily along the east and southwest coasts, from Louth to West Cork.
The individual parks will range in size between 5 MW and 25 MW. Planning permission was secured on 110 MW by the end of 2017, with the remaining sites expected to secure permission in the first quarter of 2018.
The Irish Government has committed to generating some 40 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. A new public support scheme for renewable energy sources to reach this target was announced in September.
A KPMG report on the potential benefits of solar energy in Ireland concluded that the industry could reasonably deploy over 3,750 MW of solar from now to 2030, supporting over €2 billion in gross value added, over €800m in direct taxes and sustaining over 7,300 jobs.
Power Capital was co-founded by Peter Duff and Justin Brown in 2011.
Peter Duff said the announcement marks a significant step forward in the lifetime of this ambitious and exciting project.
"It rubberstamps a major commitment from ISIF and from Capital Stage, whose input and investment will help us progress this high-quality pipeline of solar parks along Ireland’s east and southwest coasts.
"Their commitment to this project is not just a vote of confidence in Power Capital, but also in the solar market in Ireland generally, which is currently on an upward trajectory”.
Mr Duff added that Power Capital is: “actively engaging with large energy consumers in Ireland who have commitments in terms of meeting their high energy demands through renewable sources”.
Dierk Paskert, CEO of Capital Stage AG, said the Irish renewable energy market offers significant opportunities. The partnership announced today positions us perfectly to participate in the positive development of that market.
"Capital Stage is a long-term investor in renewable energy, thinking in decades rather than in years. Multinational and local corporates with growing demand for green energy will be served by the partnership, be it directly through power purchase agreements or indirectly via the regulated market.”