London - Element Power, the global renewable energy developer today announced that it had sold two of its Irish wind projects to a fund managed by BlackRock (‘BlackRock’), one of the world’s largest asset managers.The sale of the 9.2MW Garranereagh wind farm in Co. Cork and the 36MW Monaincha wind farm in Co. Tipperary reaffirms the increasing attractiveness of Ireland to renewable energy investors. Element Power, who developed the wind farms and structured the finance for their construction, will build and operate the projects for BlackRock.
The transactions, which achieved completion on 7 December 2012 and 27 March 2013 respectively, mark the first collaboration between the two parties. Commenting on this, Mike O’Neill, President & COO of Element Power said, “I am delighted that financial close has been reached on these projects that are a testimony to the skill and dedication of the Element Power team within and outside of Ireland. We are proud to partner with an organization of BlackRock’s calibre.”
Jim Barry, Managing Director at BlackRock, commented: “We are pleased to have invested in the Irish wind energy sector and in particular the Garranereagh and Monaincha wind projects represent an exciting investment opportunity for BlackRock’s clients. We look forward to developing our relationship with Element Power, an experienced international developer in the renewables sector”.
It is Element Power’s long-term intention to continue assisting Ireland to meet its renewables targets through the development and delivery of onshore wind farms. Bringing strategic equity debt into well-structured projects is a crucial element in achieving Ireland’s goals, and Element Power has created a template for this.
The sale of these two projects from Element Power’s wind portfolio demonstrates the company’s successful strategy to invest in the development of projects in Ireland through to financial close and beyond. Element Power Ireland is leveraging the expertise and experience of its market-leading team, that are also being utilised in pioneering the export opportunities currently present in the Irish midlands.
Tim Cowhig CEO of Element Power Ireland commenting on the transactions said, ‘It is important to show that wind energy can play a significant part in any investment portfolio and that wind is now part of the established energy portfolio. This transaction also shows Ireland Inc is open for business and that the worst of the turmoil in the financial markets of the last number of years is now behind us’.
This welcomed recovery of the Irish economy is further evidenced by the fact that long term non-recourse project finance was secured from the Bank of Ireland for Garranereagh, and from Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, London Branch ('Nord/LB') and KFW Ipex-Bank in respect of Monaincha. The latter incorporated an Export Credit Guarantee Scheme of the Federal Republic of Germany managed by Euler Hermes.
Element Power is backed by the $1bn Hudson Clean Energy Partners private equity fund and has approximately 9,000MW of operating and development-stage wind and solar assets across Europe, North and South America and Asia.