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Blackrock NTR fund swoops on Element's windfarm projects

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Former NTR chief executive Jim Barry heads up Blackrock NTR Renewable Fund

Former NTR chief executive Jim Barry heads up Blackrock NTR Renewable Fund

Former NTR chief executive Jim Barry heads up Blackrock NTR Renewable Fund

WINDFARM projects in Tipperary and Cork have been sold by Element Power to the Blackrock NTR Renewable Power Fund.

The 36MW Monaincha windfarm project in Tipperary was unveiled last year by Element Power, and was likely to cost €70m to develop. The windfarm project in Cork is a 9.2MW scheme at Garranereagh and is likely to cost about €18m to develop.

Blackrock NTR Renewable Fund – a joint venture between US fund manager Blackrock and Irish utility firm NTR – has swooped to buy the projects. It marks the second acquisition by the $400m fund, which is headed by former NTR boss Jim Barry.

Element Power will build and operate the two projects for Blackrock. Ireland-based Element Power is owned by US private equity firm Hudson Clean Energy Partners. Element Power announced the planned development of the Monaincha windfarm last August.

Two two German banks – Nord/LB (Norddeutsche Landesbank) and KfW IPEX-Bank – have also provided construction debt financing for the Monaincha wind farm project in Co Tipperary, according to Will Ainger, the editor of energy industry publication Sparkspread, which first reported the sale.

"We are pleased to have invested in the Irish wind energy sector, and in particular the Garranereagh and Monaincha wind projects represent an exciting investment opportunity for Blackrock's clients," said Mr Barry. Element, headed by Tim Cowhig, is planning to spend as much as €8bn developing up to 40 windfarms in the midlands, with the power generated by them being exported to the UK market.

It's one of two such schemes being advanced for the region. Mainstream Renewable Power, headed by Eddie O'Connor, is also planning a similar project.

Mr Cowhig said that plans for the scheme – called Greenwire – is "firmly on course"

"By securing the presence of a group like BlackRock in Ireland, it shows our projects are developed properly, sustainably and in a way which is of real interest to the markets."

Irish Independent