€35m solar energy park shows ‘global potential of green finance’

The Irish solar energy firm BNRG Renewables is investing in a €35m, 20mw solar park in the UK, with construction set to begin next month.

€35m solar energy park shows  ‘global potential  of green finance’

BNRG is headquartered in Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre and is a major part of the IDA’s Green IFSC initiative.

The latest investment, in partnership with London-based Lightsource Renewable Energy, brings to €148m the amount it has pumped into solar park developments since 2008.

Stephen Nolan, executive director of Green IFSC, said BNRG’s investment highlights the potential of green energy and the IFSC.

“Underpinning Green IFSC’s goal to become a global leader in green asset management is Ireland’s world-class International Financial Services Centre, one of the best business environments in the world, a wealth of natural resources, innovative green economy companies with global networks, a supportive government and an emerging talent pool of green finance specialists,” said Mr Nolan.

“Together, these unique selling points provide all the ingredients needed to enable Ireland to emerge as the global leader in green finance.

“We aim to increase ‘green assets’ managed or serviced in Ireland from today’s $20bn to $200bn by 2017.”

BNRG has planning permission for 25 years for its 20mw solar park, which will be based on a 120-acre farm based in Old Romney in Kent, and which will produce enough electricity to power 6,600 homes. The farm will have 82,000 solar panels with a capacity of 245 watts each.

These types of projects have run into considerable planning difficulties in the past.

However, this project received a 15 to 1 approval from the Shepway District Council’s Development Control Committee. The development will have zero carbon emissions.

BNRG was founded in Dublin in 2007 by Neil Holman, who is a chartered accountant, and David Maguire, who is an environment scientist. It has invested in projects in seven countries in three continents.

Following the latest investment, Mr Maguire said: “Green IFSC has done a great job promoting Ireland as a centre for green finance.

“Ireland could become a major international centre for sustainable energy development and finance, just as it previously became a major international centre for aviation and aviation finance. There is no reason why renewables can’t go the way of aviation finance in Ireland.”

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