Irish bank Bank of Ireland commits €50m to largest investment to date in UK offshore wind and €40m to ESB onshore wind farm.
Bank of Ireland has confirmed its commitment to two major wind farm developments.
The bank is providing €50m in finance for Neart na Gaoithe, a large-scale wind energy project off the east coast of Scotland that will provide power for around 375,000 homes.
“Our participation in the Neart na Gaoithe financing and indeed, further off-shore transactions is a statement of our intent to support the evolution of offshore wind in Ireland”
Bank of Ireland has joined the international lending syndicate for the 450 megawatt (MW) wind farm, a joint venture between EDF Renewables UK and Ireland’s ESB.
Construction is underway and the project is expected to be fully operational next year. Neart na Gaoithe NnG (meaning “strength of the wind”) will offset over 400,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
The Bank also announced that it has increased its lending commitment to ESB’s Raheenleagh 35 MW wind farm in County Wicklow. Construction of the wind farm, which entered operation in 2016, was co-funded by Bank of Ireland and another lender.
A recent refinancing has allowed Bank of Ireland to more than double its lending commitment to €40.7m and become the sole project lender.
“I want to express my sincere gratitude to Bank of Ireland for its exceptional support and guidance throughout the refinancing of our Joint Venture, Raheenleagh and welcome its recent inclusion in our Neart Na Gaoithe banking syndicate,” said Anne Marie Kean, Group Treasurer, ESB.
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with Bank of Ireland in the future.”
Decarbonising the economy
Bank of Ireland is committed to working with its customers, colleagues and society to support the transition to a resilient, net zero economy by 2050, in line with the Irish and UK governments’ ambitions and targets.
The bank ended last year with around €8bn in sustainability-related finance on its balance sheet and plans to nearly double that to €15bn by 2025 and €30bn by 2030.
“Wind has an important part to play in decarbonising the economy and as a leading lender to the renewable energy sector in Ireland, we are delighted to continue to partner with the ESB in support of the energy transition,” said Michael Lauhoff, Head of Corporate Banking Ireland & NI at Bank of Ireland.
“Our participation in the Neart na Gaoithe financing and indeed, further off-shore transactions is a statement of our intent to support the evolution of offshore wind in Ireland.”
Main image at top: One of the offshore electricity substations that will help export the power generated by Neart na Gaoithe’s wind turbines, once they’re installed and operational, to power hundreds of thousands of homes