Saturday 17 March 2018

Losses widen at ESB windfarm subsidiary

Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

Paul O'Donoghue

THE ESB subsidiary responsible for the early stage development of windfarms in Ireland saw losses widen to €4.2m last year.

ESB Wind Development Limited focuses on the early stage development of wind farms while construction or operation takes place in other wholly or partially owned ESB companies. The projects may be funded by internal or external finance.

Newly filed accounts for the firm show that losses rose from €33,000 to €4.2m while revenue stayed broadly in line at €3.5m compared to €3.1m the year before, although this was a significant decrease versus the €11.3m turnover booked in 2011.

The loss was due to an increase in "development expenses", which rose from €3.2m to €8.3m. Regarding the losses, a spokesman for ESB said: "The accounts reflect increased development activity during 2014."

The company's borrowings, largely from fellow group companies, relate to the financing of windfarm projects.

At the end of last year, the company owed €11.7m to other ESB subsidiaries compared to €12m the year before.

One of the company's main projects is in Oweninny Power Ltd, a joint venture of which ESB owns 50pc. It is involved in the development and construction of a windfarm in Bellacorrick, Co Mayo, and the company advanced €1.8m to OPL during the year compared to €3.25m the year before.

ESB Wind Developments had liabilities of €28.2m. It is financed by borrowings from subsidiaries of its ultimate parent company, ESB. €12m of its liabilities are attributable to group undertakings, which the company directors expect to repay from "cashflows generated by relevant wind farms".

The ESB has about 15 windfarms in operation both north and south of the border.

The latest, Woodhouse in Waterford, was opened earlier this month, bringing the company's total installed wind generation capacity in Ireland to almost 300MW. The new 20MW windfarm will provide enough green energy to power 10,000 homes.

ESB has also provided wind farm engineering services to international clients in the UK, South Africa, Jordan, Poland and Spain. Wind energy now generates almost 20pc of all electricity demand in Ireland.

Irish Independent

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