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Highfield enters wind power JV for '€300m plan'

Developer joins forces with Temporis Aurora Fund to deliver 200MW of energy

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The joint venture will focus on wind energy

The joint venture will focus on wind energy

The joint venture will focus on wind energy

Highfield Energy, an Irish developer of renewable energy projects, has announced a joint venture with the Temporis Aurora Fund to finance 200 megawatts (MW) of new onshore wind assets in Ireland.

The joint venture between the company and the fund will provide Highfield with the financial backing to develop wind assets across Ireland over the next five to eight years. An industry source said 200MW of development would involve an investment of around €300m.

Temporis Investment Management, which has bases in both Cork and London, manages approximately $600m (€546m) worth of assets.

It started the Temporis Aurora Fund with a mandate to back the development of new renewable projects in Ireland.

The Aurora Fund plans to deploy €125m worth of equity over its 12-year life. The fund has been backed by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and AIB, as well as institutional investors from the US, UK, Denmark and Germany.

Peter Kavanagh, managing director of Highfield Energy, said the joint venture would give his company the ability to plan for long-term projects.

"It means we can get on with developing the projects now. It gives us strong financial backing over the next five to eight years," he said.

"Development projects take time; they require sustained effort and investment. For developers, partnering with the right kind of capital, which understands development, that's really key."

Kavanagh said the joint venture had already started working together on plans for future projects.

The projects will serve both the State-backed Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) auctions and the emerging market for corporate power purchase agreements.

The RESS, the final terms and conditions of which were released last week, will establish a system of auctions to provide State support to renewable electricity projects in Ireland.

Kavanagh welcomed the RESS. "We can move forward now and deliver," he said.

"It's going to be a competitive process, so if you are not competitive, you won't get the support. It's a big change in the Irish market; it's really about trying to pick winners now."

The joint venture will not be competing in the first auction. However, Highfield itself will be bidding, with Kavanagh adding that he plans to bid around 300MW worth of solar projects in the first auction.

Highfield Energy develops, constructs, owns and operates electricity generation projects with a particular focus on renewables.

The company currently has more than one gigawatt of utility-scale wind, solar and energy storage projects within its portfolio, and is focused on the Irish market.

Sunday Indo Business