Dublin-based renewable energy group, Gaelectric, has announced that it has agreed in excess of €90 million in additional financing for its business. Gaelectric with its team of 50 employees is active in the development and operation of wind and energy storage projects in Ireland, the United States and the UK.
BlueBay Ireland Corporate Credit, a vehicle established by BlueBay Asset Management with substantial investment from the National Pensions Reserve Fund of Ireland to provide loans to larger SMEs and mid-sized corporates, is providing €30 million in business development and expansion funding, which will be available to support the growth of all aspects of Gaelectric's business.
German landesbank, Nord/LB, is providing a €56 million (£47 million) project debt facility to finance the build out of Gaelectric's 42 MW wind farm at Dunbeg, Co. Derry/Londonderry. Dunbeg has a grid connection and full planning approval. Site preparation works commenced earlier this year. Dunbeg will be the third operating wind farm delivered by Gaelectric following operating projects at Skrine in Co. Roscommon (2011) and Carn Hill (2013). Commercial operation of Dunbeg is planned to commence by in August 2014. Nord/LB also participated in the funding round concluded by Gaelectric earlier this year.
Proventus Capital Partners have increased their existing portfolio finance facility with Gaelectric by €6 million.
Today's announcement follows the successful conclusion of a previous funding round which raised €65 million in debt finance earlier this year for the development of its near-term pipeline of 165MW of wind energy projects on the island of Ireland.
Gaelectric recently announced a strategic alliance with international engineering firm Dresser-Rand to develop bulk energy storage projects using compressed air energy storage (CAES) technology commencing with Gaelectric's CAES project near Larne, which is the most advanced project of its type in Europe.
Commenting, Gaelectric CEO Brendan McGrath said: "Our progress in 2013 has been rapid, on both the corporate/funding side and on the project development/operations side of our business. This additional funding will allow us maintain the momentum we have created through next year and focus on our project milestones which ultimately create the value for our partners and investors.
The €30 million in funding from BlueBay Ireland Corporate Credit also demonstrates how Government commercial investment, combined with market funding and expert lending, can be very effective in supporting Irish business. To illustrate this, the BICC funding, when taken together with the other funding we have raised, has allowed us to increase the number of people employed by Gaelectric in Ireland on a full time basis by in excess of 20% during 2013 with a number of additional positions being filled at the present time. This is a significant institutional investment in our business and it is satisfying that it is a National Pensions Reserve Fund-backed fund investing in an Irish renewable energy company. Our BICC facility provides us with both the funding and the flexibility to apply it where it can be put to best use in the business."
BlueBay's Pat Walsh said: "Gaelectric is an exciting story in the renewable energy and energy storage sector. With a strong platform in Ireland this business has the ability to significantly expand and to leverage its expertise in pursuit of further opportunities in Ireland, the UK, across Europe and in the USA. This is the second loan that BICC has completed since its launch in July with discussions ongoing with a number of other mid-size companies."
Gaelectric development and operations highlights during 2013 have included –
- Commercial operation commencing at Carn Hill Wind Farm (13.8MW) near Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland
- Planning approvals for approximately 40MW of wind energy projects in Ireland.
- Site preparatory works commenced on Dunbeg Wind Farm (42MW) in Co. Derry/Londonderry
- EU 'Project of Common Interest'- status secured for Gaelectric's compressed air energy storage (CAES) project near Larne
- Exploratory drilling on site to the south of Larne to confirm the location and suitability of geological salt deposits suitable for compressed air energy storage (CAES). This drilling activity is part funded by Project SPIRE, a partnership between the University of Ulster and Dundalk Institute of Technology. Project SPIRE is funded by the European Union's INTERREG IVA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.
- Project design, Pre-Application Discussion (PAD) and community consultation progressing on Gaelectric's compressed air energy storage (CAES) project
- Progress on further compressed air energy storage (CAES) opportunities in the UK and mainland Europe
Corporate and funding highlights during 2013 have included –
- Conclusion of in excess of €90 million debt financing with Bluebay Ireland Corporate Credit, Nord/LB and Proventus
- Framework agreement with international wind turbine and services group, Enercon GmbH, in respect of a portfolio of Gaelectric's wind farm projects in Ireland
- Strategic alliance with international engineering group, Dresser-Rand, on compressed air energy storage (CAES) opportunities in Europe
- Conclusion of €65 million debt financing with Proventus Capital Partners and Nord/LB to support construction of the Carn Hill wind project and the delivery of Gaelectric's near-term portfolio of onshore wind energy projects on the island of Ireland (April)
Brendan McGrath, CEO of Gaelectric Holdings plc, and Barry Gavin, CFO are available for interview by arrangement.
Gaelectric is a renewable energy development and energy storage group which, since its establishment in 2004, has demonstrated its ability to create and develop out an extensive portfolio of renewable energy projects in multiple markets. Gaelectric's business is centred on three core areas of activity, namely –
- On-shore wind energy development and operations in Ireland
- Energy storage systems (Gaelectric Energy Storage) and off-shore energy development
- On-shore wind energy development in the United States
Gaelectric has offices in Dublin, Belfast, Chicago and Great Falls (Montana).
BlueBay Asset Management LLP (BlueBay) (https://www.bluebay.com/en/institutional/) is a specialist asset manager of fixed income credit, corporate loans and alternative products. Based in London, with offices in the US, Dublin, Luxembourg, Hong Kong and Japan, we manage over US$56bn (as at 30 September 2013) for institutions and high-net-worth individuals. BlueBay manages a range of credit products covering investment grade, emerging markets, convertibles, private lending, high yield and special situations. BlueBay Asset Management LLP is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and part of the RBC asset management division, RBC Global Asset Management group of companies.
BlueBay Ireland Corporate Credit I is the third in a suite of new long-term funds announced by the NPRF in January 2013 that will provide €850 million of equity, credit and restructuring / recovery investment for Irish small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and mid-sized corporates. The NPRF played a significant role in the development of the three funds and is a cornerstone investor in each alongside additional investment from third-party investors.
Nord/LB (www.nordlb.de) is one of Germany's leading Landesbanks and is a universal bank at the heart of northern Germany headquartered Hanover. As a commercial bank, Nord/LB offers an extensive range of financial services to private, corporate and institutional customers as well as public sector customers. In the area of structured financing, it is involved in ship and aircraft financing and in international projects at select locations in the sectors of energy, infrastructure, industry and real estate. Nord/LB is one of the leading project finance banks providing structuring and lending services to renewable energy projects. Globally, Nord/LB is represented in all important trading centers such as London, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Shanghai and Singapore through its branches and representative offices. Its total assets at 30 June 2012 amount to €228,667 million.
Proventus Capital Partners (www.proventuscapitalpartners.se) is a co-investment vehicle with approximately EUR 1billion under management and is managed by the Proventus investment team. Proventus Capital Partners provides development capital through private corporate loans to mid-sized companies in need for growth and restructuring capital as well as investment in public corporate bonds. Investments are carried out in Western Europe.