UrbanVolt raises €30m to fund further expansion in Ireland and EU

Move brings total cash raised by the green energy business this year to €66m

UrbanVolt is borrowing €30 million to fund further expansion in Ireland and the European Union, bringing the total cash that the green energy supplier has raised this year to €66 million.

UrbanVolt finances and installs solar panels for industries, selling the electricity generated to them at discounts of up to 50 per cent on the prices charged by conventional power suppliers.

The company said on Friday it was borrowing €30 million from Dublin- and Zurich-based Solas, which specialises in backing sustainable energy projects and funding the transition to a carbon-neutral society.

UrbanVolt will use the cash to finance the fit out of solar panels and energy efficient lighting for its commercial and industrial customers in Ireland and the EU.

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The company says it guarantees the price of electricity for 30 years and only charges for the power consumed, with no minimum payments or standing charges.

According to UrbanVolt, the loan “rolls out” in two tranches of €15 million. The latest fundraising follows on from the €36 million it borrowed in May, also to pay for expansion.

UrbanVolt’s clients include brewer Heineken, drug and Covid-19 vaccine-maker Pfizer, medical device manufacturer Zimmer Biomet, and logistics specialist Syncreon.

Local client, building materials and hardware supplier TJ O’Mahony, which has 18 outlets around the country, has UrbanVolt’s “solar as a service” system in all its operation, and its energy efficient lighting in 13 locations. The business is saving about €325,000 a year on energy bills.

Kevin Maughan, chief executive and co-founder of UrbanVolt, dubbed the latest fundraising a “landmark deal” that spoke volumes about the company’s ambitions as it followed closely on the heels of May’s loans.

“It is painfully obvious that fossil fuels are no longer a realistic source of energy for commercial operators; the financial and environmental impacts are too negative in today’s volatile market,” he said.

Mr Maughan, chief commercial officer Declan Barrett and chief operating officer Graham Deane founded UrbanVolt in 2015.

It began by providing energy efficient lighting to businesses and expanded into solar power provision last year. It now has operations in Ireland, Britain, the United States and eight European countries.

Lender Solas Capital advises the Solas Sustainable Energy Fund Irish Collective Asset-management Vehicle, with the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and the European Investment Bank.

The investment business is dedicated to providing long-term cash for energy efficiency projects in buildings and industry in Ireland and the EU.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas