Saturday 18 November 2017

Renewables firm Arena launches €5m bond


Environment Minister Denis Naughten. Photo: Tom Burke
Environment Minister Denis Naughten. Photo: Tom Burke

Simon Rowe

Dublin-based renewable energy firm Arena Capital Partners has launched an ISEQ-listed €5m investment bond to fund a major acquisition drive in the UK.

Arena develops renewable energy projects, mainly in wind energy in the North, the UK and Italy, as well as investing in biomass and property. It blames lack of Irish Government support for micro-generation in the renewables sector for its lack of investment projects here.

Over the past three years the firm has raised €35m from private, pension and corporate investors in private loan notes and has built 28 turbines, with another seven in the pipeline for this year.

Its newly launched regulated listed bond offers investors a 6.5pc per annum return over a five-and-a-year period, with a minimum investment of €20,000. The bond will finance the acquisition of a portfolio of 30 wind turbines in the UK.

Tommy Costello, managing director of Arena Capital, said the bond would appeal to brokers, pension funds, credit unions and charities.

Since it was founded in 2014, Arena Capital has fully built out 28 wind turbines, of which 19 are in Northern Ireland, one in Scotland and eight in Italy.

The firm has also secured 23 MW of solar farms in Ireland at various stages of planning and development but is awaiting the introduction of tariff incentives by Environment Minister Denis Naughten.

"The lack of Government support for micro generation in Ireland has slowed down the take up of renewable energy technologies as pay-back periods can be longer than without a government support, depending on our clients' energy usage and set up," said Costello.

"Ireland hasn't seen a Government Incentive since December 2015 when REFIT 3 ended, which only applied to large-scale developments."

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