Quintas sets up €40m solar energy fund

CORK-based Quintas Wealth Management has set up a solar energy investment fund at a cost of €40 million that is set to give a minimum 11% return to its clients.

The group has tapped into the Spanish solar energy market and has bought several solar farms that will supply electricity to the Spanish grid.

It has set up a Spanish subsidiary, Quintas Energy, to oversee the turnkey projects that number about 40 and which will be run by those who built them on behalf of Qunitas.

Quintas Wealth Management director Tim McCarthy said the company has been looking for fresh investment outlets for its client base. In effect the property market has become virtually “extinct” in Ireland and clients were looking for other ways of investing their money, he said.

Given the 11% return, the plan has the capacity to turn a minimum investment of €200,000 in net equity into €1.9m over 35 years.

The decision to pursue the solar energy project in Spain followed extensive due diligence carried out on its behalf by consultants Ernst & Young and solicitors Ronan Daly Jermyn.

“The project was investigated from a technical, tax, and investment point of view and we figured out that it a very attractive deal for investors,” he said.

The investment is geared to private and corporate clients and the minimum yield of 11% has appealed to many of the group’s clients who have been prepared to put up a minimum of €200,000 to buy a stake in the solar energy project.

German investors are also interested in solar energy and the Spanish have followed their example, he said. Mr McCarthy said the moves by both governments was part of their efforts to bring their countries into compliance with EU and Kyoto carbon emission guidelines.

Due to the success of the first scheme the group has other investments planned for Spain.

The availability of land close to the Spanish electricity grid will determine the level of investment in Spain, said Mr McCarthy.

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