Greencoat buys Coillte’s wind farms for €281m

Greencoat buys Coillte’s wind farms for €281m

Eamon Quinn

Greencoat Renewables — the power-generating firm whose shares are listed in Dublin and London — has paid up to €281m to buy out most of the stakes held by Coillte in four wind farms, as the firm expands in Ireland by spending some of the proceeds it raised from the market.

The company — which has the backing of the Government’s Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), as well as AIB and Irish Life — already owns wind farms in Kerry, Leitrim, Kilkenny, Cork, and Tipperary.

It is now paying Coillte €136.1m, or €281m when long-term debt is taken into account, to buy out most of the stakes the forestry firm owns in wind farms in Raheenleagh, in Co Wexford; Cloosh Valley, in Co Galway (which is said to be the largest wind generator in Ireland); and at Castlepook, in Co Cork, where ESB retains its 50% stake.

At Sliabh Bawn wind farm, in Co Roscommon, Coillte is keeping its 25% ownership, while Bord Na Móna and SSE are holding onto stakes in some farms.

Greencoat said the four sites generate 105.1Mw and will increase its total generating capacity to 299Mw. Its shares eased back in London. For Coillte, the sale means it has disposed of almost all its wind farms, although it plans to invest in new sites. It said the €136.1m price was more than the €125m it had targeted.

Over the coming months, we will announce details of how we plan to develop in excess of 1,000 Mw of renewable energy-generating capacity over the next 10 years, across a pipeline of 25 projects we have identified on the Coillte estate

- said its chief executive, Fergal Leamy.

Greencoat Capital partner, Bertrand Gautier, said: “We look forward to deepening our strategic partnership with Coillte.”

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