SSE sells 25% of wind farm to Greencoat for €34.5m

Stake is for a quarter of Cloosh Valley’s total capacity of 108MW

The deal takes Greencoat’s ownership of Cloosh Valley to 75 per cent. Photograph: iStock

The deal takes Greencoat’s ownership of Cloosh Valley to 75 per cent. Photograph: iStock

 

Airtricity owner SSE is selling part of one of the Republic’s biggest wind farms to Irish-listed Greencoat Renewables for €34.5 million.

SSE confirmed on Thursday it was selling 25 per cent of Cloosh Valley Wind Farm in Co Galway to Greencoat, co-owner of the electricity plant.

Greencoat is paying €34.5 million for the stake, which amounts of 27MW (megawatts), a quarter of Cloosh Valley’s total capacity of 108MW.

London-listed utility SSE owns Airtricity, which supplies electricity and natural gas to homes and businesses in the Republic.

Greencoat’s shares are traded on the Irish Stock Exchange, but the company’s asset manager, which implements the board’s strategy, is based in Britain.

The deal takes Greencoat’s ownership of Cloosh Valley to 75 per cent. SSE will keep 25 per cent and continue to operate the plant while Airtricity will take the electricity it generates.

Cloosh Valley is part of Galway Wind Park in Connemara, which has an overall capacity of 174MW and has been operating since September 2017.

The park was developed in two phases: Cloosh Valley, with its 108MW capacity and a further 66MW, which SSE owns entirely.

As a result of this deal, SSE will control about 53 per cent of the green electricity plant.

Guarantees prices

The State’s Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff scheme, which guarantees the prices paid to wind farms and other green electricity generators, covers Galway Wind Park.

Gregor Alexander, SSE finance director, described Galway Wind Park as testament to the company’s ability to build and run renewable energy plants.

He added that the sale of the Cloosh Valley stake to Greencoat continued SSE’s strategy of securing value for shareholders at appropriate times.

Paul O’Donnell, partner at Greencoat Capital, the buyer’s asset manager, said the company saw a strong pipeline of potential deals.

Greencoat bought 50 per cent of Cloosh Valley from its original co-developer, State forestry company Coillte, as part of a €136 million deal, through which it acquired holdings in four wind farms around the Republic.

Cloosh Valley consists of 36 turbines with the capacity to generate 3MW of electricity each.

Greencoat’s shares were down 1.86 per cent at €1.055 shortly before the Irish Stock Exchange closed at 5pm.