SSE and Coillte complete €176m finance deal for Phase 2 of Galway Wind Park

SSE plc and Coillte have jointly completed financing for €176m for the construction of the second and final stage of Galway Wind Park. The financing deal is the largest-ever for a single wind energy asset in Ireland.

The total 169MW project, located south-west of Oughterard, is set to be Ireland’s largest wind farm. Phase 1 of the project, which entered construction in February 2015, is owned and financed by SSE. Phase 2 is a 50/50 joint venture between SSE and Coillte. Galway Wind Park is expected to complete in 2017, qualifyingthe project to be supported under the REFIT II support scheme.

The project finance for the 105MW Phase 2 joint venture stage has been agreed between SSE and Coillte with three Mandated Lead Arranger (MLA) banks – BBVA, Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A., and NORD/LB with NORD/LB acting as the co-ordinating arranger. The agreement has a tenor of around 16.5 years including the construction phase. Each bank will provide a 33% stake of the €176m financing including €3m VAT Facility and €3m Guarantee Facility.

With financing complete, SSE and Coillte are commencing construction work on Phase 2 with immediate effect. Construction is expected to be completed in Q3 of 2017 at which point the total 169MW wind farm will be commissioned and will enter commercial operation.  

SSE Generation will operate the wind farm which will have the capacity to generate enough green energy to power 84,000* homes, equivalent to almost 90% of the homes in Co. Galway. The green energy produced at Galway Wind Park will help to offset approximately 190,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year from fossil fuel generation.

Paul Cooley, SSE plc Director of Renewables, said: “SSE is proud to be Ireland’s largest provider of wind power and the country’s leading single investor in greener energy generation since 2008. Our investment with project partner Coillte at Galway Wind Park marks the most significant commitment yet that SSE has made in renewable generation here and reflects the exceptional quality of this Galway site for wind energy generation as well as the outstanding project partnership that we enjoy with Coillte. We are now looking forward to completing construction and towards embarking upon a truly exciting partnership with Coillte throughout the lifetime of this best-in-class wind farm.”  

Speaking about the conclusion of the deal, Mark Foley, Managing Director, Coillte Land Solutions, said: “Coillte’s ambition is to be the best forestry and land solutions company in Europe.  This deal with SSE fits with our strategy to maximise the potential of each hectare we manage in a sustainable way.  It is a clear example of how we can add significant economic value to our estate and secure significant recurring future income.  SSE is a terrific partner and I look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

* Equivalent homes powered and CO2 abated calculations based on performance of SSE wind farms in Ireland, April 2014-March 2015.