Seven Irish wind projects could generate enough green energy for 208,000 homes
EMPower, a Dublin-based renewable energy developer, plans to raise close to €250m in construction equity financing to support the development of its wind farm portfolio in Ireland.
The company has plans to develop seven projects in Ireland targeting the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme auctions for 2023, generating around 375 megawatts (MW) of power, which could represent an investment of about €412.5m if all were successful. If all projects progress through planning, they could also generate enough energy for nearly 208,000 homes, support around 500 construction jobs and create over 130 operational roles over the projects’ lifetimes.
Speaking with the Sunday Independent, Diarmuid Twomey, a co-founder of EMPower, said he expected the company would be successful in planning with around 60pc of the intended 375MW it is looking to develop. Based on this forecast, he believed EMPower would require a further €247m in construction equity financing, mostly from existing shareholders.
Twomey said EMPower was in a good position for the fundraising.
“We are reasonably well positioned with our investors [Morrison & Co] in New Zealand and Australia. Their investment into our business is with a direct desire to get into long-term construction equity. They are pension funds, so they want long-term stable assets, which is exactly what wind assets in Ireland offer them.
“There will be no issue on the fundraising side once the permitting and the RESS auctions come through. Ireland is a very attractive investment space for foreign capital in the energy sector, particularly renewables.”
In February 2020, the Sunday Independent reported that EMPower had agreed to a 50-50 partnership with Morrison & Co, which is backed by several significant Australian and New Zealand pension funds, to develop seven wind farms in Ireland.
The Irish wind-energy developer and New Zealand-based alternative-asset manager were reportedly set to pump as much as €160m into the seven greenfield wind farms.
The exact amount would depend on how each of the seven sites fared in the planning and regulatory process. In total, Morrison had put together a €220m funding facility for renewable projects in the European market.
Projects are progressing through the system, with EMPower applying for planning permission for its Annagh Wind Farm project in Co Cork and Ballynagare Wind Farm in Co. Kerry.
Twome y said EMPower’s Co Kerry Shronowen Wind Farm project, which was submitted for planning last January, is currently in with An Bord Pleanála and is awaiting a decision .
EMPower has over 700 MW of projects in development in Europe and Africa.