PCRE to spend €140m on developing six Irish solar farms

Company’s portfolio tops 1.1 gigawatts after it acquires ready-to-build farms from RES

Irish solar photovoltaic cell developer Power Capital Renewable Energy (PCRE) is to invest €140 million in six ready-to-build solar farms with a combined capacity in excess of 240 megawatts.

The move comes after it acquired the solar farm sites from Renewable Energy Systems (RES) for an undisclosed sum in a move that brings its total portfolio to over 1.1 gigawatts. The deal, which comes in addition to a €200 million investment announced earlier this year, cements PCRE’s position as one of the largest independent solar power producer in the State.

The solar farm sites acquired from RES are in several counties including Galway, Waterford, Clare and Kildare, and come complete with planning permissions from local councils and grid connections from ESBN and Eirgrid.

The company intends to submit some of these assets into the upcoming Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) auction and will also continue to seek corporate customers looking to reduce their CO2 footprint by entering “power purchase agreements”, it said.

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"This is a major statement of our ambitions in Ireland. We know RES have a great track record in developing renewable energy projects in Ireland and we hope to do further deals with the RES team in the future," said PCRE co-founder Justin Brown.

Omnes, a French private equity and infrastructure investor with €5 billion in assets under management, took a majority stake in PCRE late last year. With Omnes’s backing PCRE is focused on building a significant solar PV portfolio in Ireland, with plans to be the dominant player in the sector locally over the next decade.

In July, the company announced plans to spend about €200 million on building out assets it acquired from Irish firm Terra Solar.

PCRE, which was founded in 2011 by Mr Brown and Peter Duff, also operates in Britain, Germany and Greece.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist