German bank to lend €36m to Irish engery group to build solar power projects

Finance will fund late-stage development of about 50 Irish and British solar projects

The first projects covered by the Berenberg deal are likely to be ready for construction in the final three months of next year, according to Elgin. Photograph: iStock

The first projects covered by the Berenberg deal are likely to be ready for construction in the final three months of next year, according to Elgin. Photograph: iStock

 

German bank Berenberg will loan €36 million to Irish group Elgin Energy to back the development of solar power projects in the Republic and UK.

Elgin is building solar electricity and power storage plants in Ireland, Britain and Australia, including spending €400 million in this country on generators capable of supplying up to 140,000 homes.

The company confirmed on Tuesday that Berenberg’s green energy junior debt fund will finance the late-stage development of about 50 Irish and British solar projects.

Under the deal’s terms, Berenberg will provide a total of €36 million in credit to the projects, which can be drawn over three years.

Ronan Kilduff, managing director of Elgin Energy, said the deal was a “step change” in the company’s capital raising that would accelerate the development of a significant number of solar projects.

“Elgin Energy has a total portfolio of projects in late-stage development totalling over 3.7 gigawatts across three key markets of UK, Australia and Ireland,” he noted.

Mr Kilduff added that the company looked forward to working with Berenberg as a strategic partner.

Backing wind farms

Founded in 1590, Berenberg is one of Europe’s oldest banks. The Hamburg, Germany-based lender has divisions covering wealth and asset management, investment banking, and corporate banking.

Its €600 million green energy junior debt funds I, II and III have backed more than 100 wind and solar projects in Europe, Japan, Australia and the United States.

Torsten Heidemann, Berenberg’s head of infrastructure and energy, said the partnership would expand the green energy fund’s reach to Irish and British projects.

“Elgin has a strong track record of performance in the market and we look forward to building our relationship into the future,” he pointed out.

The first projects covered by the Berenberg deal are likely to be ready for construction in the final three months of next year, according to Elgin.

The company will develop them to the point where they can begin generating electricity through its existing partnerships.

Last year, two of Elgin’s Irish solar projects succeeded in getting backing in the State’s first Renewable Energy Support Scheme auction.

The company says that it delivered 21 solar projects with a total capacity of 230 mega watts (MW) under the UK government’s Renewables Obligation Scheme, before that programme ended in 2017.

In 2020, it joined forces with Foresight Group to develop solar projects with a total capacity of 276MW.

The company has expanded internationally over the last 11 years, employing engineers, accountants and lawyers in its Dublin, London and Sydney offices.