Boost for Gaelectric wind energy projects with €65m funding
IRISH energy company Gaelectric has raised €65m for its on-shore wind energy projects, which it said will generate €250m in total investment between now and 2017.
The funding will go towards a portfolio of 13 Irish wind-energy developments, which will generate up to 164 MW of energy. A typical average land-based wind turbine generates between 1.5 MW and 2.5 MW.
Funding was led by Proventus Capital Partners, a Swedish group that specialises in providing corporate loans to mid-sized firms for growth purposes.
A loan was also provided by German bank Nord/LB to finance the construction of a wind energy project at Carn Hill, Co Antrim.
Gaelectric has agreed to use technology from German turbine manufacturer Enercon in all the sites covered by the current funding round.
"We now have 120 MW of wind energy projects with full planning approval and grid connection offers; 18 MW of this portfolio will be generating renewable power by the first quarter of 2013," company finance director Barry Gavin said.
Gaelectric's on-shore portfolio in Ireland will create sufficient generation capacity to power the energy needs of 85,000 homes and displace 262,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum, he said.
Mr Gavin says this capacity to generate power means Gaelectric will begin generating turnover and further returns for its shareholders and investors, thanks to the deal.
Gaelectric was founded in 2004 and has offices in Dublin and Belfast as well as Chicago and Montana in the US.
It runs on-shore wind energy operations in the US as well as operations here.
The company also develops energy storage systems.
It has applied for a licence to develop a deepwater offshore wind project in the Northern Irish Sea. This power would be exported to Britain.
A potential tidal energy site has also been identified.
Ireland compares well internationally in terms of wind power. In 2011 renewable energy, mostly from wind, supplied 17pc of the island's electricity demands. This was up from 12pc in 2010.