Tuesday 20 March 2018

Gaelectric sells wind power assets to Chinese nuclear firm in a deal worth €350m

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The sale of 230MW of wind power assets by Irish firm Gaelectric to the renewable energy investment arm of the China General Nuclear Power Group (CGNP) has been finalised today.

The assets are thought to have an equity value of up to €350m, with associated financing bringing the enterprise value to as much as double that.

The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, however.

The assets being sold by Galectric to CGNP’s CGN Europe Energy arm (CNGEE)include 10 operating wind farms with total output of 184MW, and a further four windfarms generating a total of 46MW that will be operational by mid-2017. Seven windfarms are located in Northern Ireland and seven in the Republic of Ireland.

“CGN Group is focussed on becoming a global leader in clean energy,” according to Wei Lu, chief executive of CGN Europe Energy. “These high quality wind energy assets will make an important contribution towards this objective for CGN Group.”

Gaelectric will continue to manage the windfarms on behalf of CNGEE, and provide power take-off services to the group. Galectric has other windfarm projects that are in development that do not form part of the sale.

“This agreement allows us to support the Group’s balance sheet, paying down debt and creating the foundations for our other operational and development interests in the renewable energy sector, including a near term development pipeline across wind, solar, biomass and energy storage, including our 330MW CAES storage project in Northern Ireland,” said Gaelectric chief executive Barry Gavin this morning.

Gaelectric’s CAES storage project is being developed in Larne.

The project involves the creation of two vast storage caverns more than 1.4km beneath the Antrim coast.

The scheme, which uses compressed air, will be able to generate up to 330MW of power for up to six hours, and will create demand for 200MW of power during its compression cycle.

Mr Gavin said Gaelectric’s contract with CGNEE for trading and asset management “will form the basis of a continuing relationship with a very significant new player in the Irish, European and international energy market”.

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