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Highfield secures €160m for two major solar PV projects

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Ireland's first two major solar power projects will be completed in late 2022 on sites in Wexford and Meath

Ireland's first two major solar power projects will be completed in late 2022 on sites in Wexford and Meath

Ireland's first two major solar power projects will be completed in late 2022 on sites in Wexford and Meath

Highfield Solar has secured a €160m debt facility for the first two major Irish solar power projects.

Work on grid connections has already commenced, and the projects will be completed in the second half of 2022 on two 141-megawatt sites in Wexford and Meath.

Highfield has a 140-hectare site at Rosspile, near Foulksmills, Co Wexford, and a 123-hectare site at Gillinstown near Duleek, Co Meath.

Highfield Solar is a joint venture established in 2014 between German company Ib Vogt, Irish company Highfield Energy, and UK company Aura Power.

Both projects were successful participants in the Government’s first competitive Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS 1) auction run in 2020, designed to promote investment in renewable energy and deliver on Ireland’s 70pc renewable electricity target by 2030.

Highfield was the biggest winner of solar capacity in the auction, and the projects have now reached financial close and are in construction. The two projects will deliver over 25pc of the total RESS1 volume awarded to solar photovoltaic (PV).

The firm was in competition with bigger Irish utilities such as ESB, Coillte, Bord na Móna and NTR, as well as international players such as Statkraft, RWE and EDF.

Highfield will make payments of approximately €200,000 each year for the 15 years of the RESS support to communities, clubs and societies local to each of the Solar PV project.

“We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone and are now looking forward to completing both of these solar PV projects,” said Highfield Energy managing director Peter Kavanagh. “This is the result of years of planning and investment. As a company based in Ireland, we are hugely proud of our role in attracting such significant investment into the country for a renewable electricity generation project.”

The €160m project financing debt facility is a blend of commercial loans and German state-owned bank lending from Rabobank, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, and Norddeutsche Landesbank.

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