Neoen, one of the world’s most dynamic independent producers of renewable energy, and its Irish partner BNRG, a developer and operator of solar farms headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, have completed financial close for the Hilltown, Hortland and Millvale solar farms in the counties of Meath, Kildare and Wicklow in Ireland. With a combined capacity of 58 MWp, the solar plants, jointly owned by Neoen and BNRG1, are among the first to complete financial close in Ireland.
The projects were successful in the first auction of the Irish government’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS 1) in 2020. The electricity generated by the solar farms will be sold under power purchase agreements (PPAs) supported by the Irish government via a Contract for Difference (CfD) mechanism valid until 2037.
The project will be funded by a combination of equity provided by Neoen and BNRG and a non-recourse senior debt facility provided by Société Générale. Total project costs will amount to approximately €39 million, excluding financing costs.
The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operation and maintenance (O&M) contracts have been awarded to Omexom and construction is now underway. Sheep grazing will be used for vegetation control in the solar farms. Commissioning is scheduled for 1H2022. The solar farms will provide enough electricity to power the equivalent of 12 700 homes.
A financial contribution to community projects will support local development initiatives worth around €100 000 a year for the duration of the RESS support, which ends in 2037.
Cyril Perrin, Managing Director of Neoen Ireland: “We are delighted to be among the first companies to harness the potential of solar energy in the Republic of Ireland. The construction of the three solar plants complements the eight wind farms we already have in operation and a portfolio of over 300 MW of wind and solar projects in development, showing Neoen’s dynamism in the Irish market. Thanks to the strong local presence we have built up in recent years, we plan to play an active role in helping the Irish government achieve its target of 70% of energy from renewables by 2030.”
Xavier Barbaro, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Neoen: “Neoen has once again shown the ability to deliver on projects awarded via tenders: we are proud to have been selected by the Irish government and are looking forward to showing our value as a reliable long-term partner for the various parties involved in these projects. I would like to congratulate our Irish team for all their hard work. Ireland offers exciting prospects for Neoen and is a country in which we are planning to further boost our development and pace of investment.”
1 The assets will be fully consolidated in Neoen’s accounts.