Assets made up of four wind farms currently in operation, with fifth expected next year
Written by Joe Brennan
Reposted by InterSearch Ireland
Cork-based renewable energy entrepreneur Michael Murnane and a British private equity fund have sold a majority stake in a portfolio of wind farms in Munster and Connaught, worth about €300 million, to a Japanese consortium.
Tokyo-based investment trading company Sojitz Corporation, Mitsubishi UFJLease & Finance and utility company Kansai Electric Power revealed on Monday that they had acquired a 60 per cent stake in the company behind the assets, which have the capacity to power about 150,000 homes.
The seller Invis Energy – set up in 2011 as a joint venture between Macroom-based Mr Murnane’s engineering and wind-energy company Craydel Groupand UK private equity firm HG Capital – will retain a 40 per cent stake.
The assets being sold comprise 223 megawatts of capacity, made up of four wind farms currently in operation, with a fifth expected to be commissioned in early 2018.
The wind energy sector in Ireland has been particularly active in the past nine months. China General Nuclear Power Group bought 230 megawatts of wind farm assets from Gaelectric in December, while newly-listed Greencoat Renewables acquired a 137 megawatt portfolio earlier this year from Canada’s Brookfield Renewable Partners.
The Brookfield assets equated to about a fifth of the wind portfolio that that the firm purchased in 2014 from Bord Gáis, since renamed Ervia, under the terms of Ireland’s international bailout programme.
Greencoat Renewables floated on the Irish Stock Exchange after it raised €270 million from investors, with plans to buy further Irish assets in the largely fragmented wind energy market in the Republic.
Calls by "The Irish Times" to the office of Mr Murnane’s office seeking comment on Monday were not returned.
However, it is understood that the parties behind the Invis joint venture plan to invest further in wind energy in Ireland.
“The Republic of Ireland benefits from one of the best wind resources in Europe, and onshore wind generation capacity is a vital component to ensuring energy independence and decarbonisation of the country’s electricity generation fleet,” Invis said in a statement issued in response to questions from The Irish Times on the deal.
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