Business Irish

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Energia to invest €3bn in Irish renewable energy resources

Green fingers: Energia CEO Ian Thom, left, with Minister Bruton and I Squared founder Gautam Bhandari
Green fingers: Energia CEO Ian Thom, left, with Minister Bruton and I Squared founder Gautam Bhandari
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Irish power firm Viridian, which trades as Energia, is to invest €3bn in renewable energy over the next five years, in a move that will create 200 direct jobs.

The investment programme will be implemented across a number of projects, including both onshore and offshore wind farms, solar power, hydrogen fuel generation, bio-energy facilities and the smart grid.

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An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 construction jobs will be created over the five years.

Energia said the move would contribute to further sustainability in Ireland's energy supply, and to the achievement of the country's climate change reduction targets. The announcement comes two weeks after the Government unveiled its Climate Action Plan.

The company anticipates it will add up to 1,500MW of renewable generation to the grid over the course of the programme.

Energia CEO Ian Thom said the decision was "a clear signal of our intent to build on our continuous commitment to Irish communities, the economy and the sustainability of Ireland's energy supply, while contributing decisively to de-carbonisation, and the protection of our domestic and global environment".

Energia, which has been operating here for 20 years, currently employs 800 people across the island of Ireland. Commenting on the announcement, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he "commended" the company for its investment.

Viridian was bought by I Squared in 2016 for about €1bn from Bahrain's Arcapita.

In the 12 months to March 31, 2019, Energia reported earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of €167.1m, up from €148.4m the prior year.

The results were boosted by the performance of its renewables and customer solutions businesses.

Elsewhere, a joint venture between forestry group Coillte and the ESB to develop 1,000MW of wind farms is on track to be finalised by the end of this month.

Under the agreement, the two semi-State companies would take an equal share in the entity.

The development, which has the potential to power between 700,000 and 800,000 homes, would require investment of around €1bn between now and 2030.

Irish Independent

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