Bord na Móna enlists lenders to back €100m power plant

Bank of Ireland and European Investment Bank to finance wind farm in Offaly

New 75 mega watt wind farm at Cloncreen, Co Offaly, could supply enough electricity to power 55,000 homes at full tilt. Photograph: Carlos Jasso

New 75 mega watt wind farm at Cloncreen, Co Offaly, could supply enough electricity to power 55,000 homes at full tilt. Photograph: Carlos Jasso

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State company Bord na Móna has recruited Irish and European lenders to back a €100 million renewable power plant.

Bord na Móna is building a 75 mega watt (mw) wind farm at Cloncreen, Co Offaly, that it estimates could supply enough electricity to power 55,000 homes at full capacity.

Bank of Ireland and the European Investment Bank (EIB) confirmed on Tuesday that they will finance the project, with each supplying half the cash needed to build the wind farm.

Bill levy

The wind farm will receive a guaranteed price for the electricity it supplies through the State’s Renewable Energy Support Scheme, which is funded by a levy on all electricity bills.

Bord na Móna, which has been grappling with the need to move from exploiting the Republic’s peat bogs to new businesses, intends supplying one-third of all Irish homes with renewable electricity by 2030.

Eoin McGuinness, senior director at Bank of Ireland, said that the €50 million the lender had pledged was “one of the largest in the renewable sector to date”.

Christian Kettel Thomson, EIB vice-president, added the institution was committed to aiding renewable energy generation in Ireland and around the world.

J McGrath, Bord na Móna’s chief financial and operating officer, said the State company wanted to aid the Republic’s efforts to reach zero carbon by 2050.