Wind farm secures £83m in funds from GIB and KKR

Once operational, the new wind farm is expected to produce more than 150 gigawatt-hours of renewable electricity annually. Picture: TSPL
Once operational, the new wind farm is expected to produce more than 150 gigawatt-hours of renewable electricity annually. Picture: TSPL
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A WIND farm in Dumfries and Galloway which will generate sufficient energy to power more than 37,000 homes has secured almost £83 million in financing.

The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB), which is headquartered in Edinburgh, is pumping £49.5m into the consented 52.9-megawatt Blackcraig scheme, where work is due to commence next month. Private equity giant KKR is also providing senior debt as part of the £82.7m finance package, via Temporis Capital.

The 23-turbine project is owned by project sponsor Blue Energy. Once operational, it is expected to produce more than 150 gigawatt-hours of renewable electricity annually, enough to meet the requirements of some 37,500 residential properties.

It is also forecast to reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 11,200 cars from the road. Completion is scheduled for March 2017.

A community fund, established by Blue Energy and managed with local representatives, will support a range of initiatives throughout the 25-year operational life of the wind farm. Ed Northam, head of investment banking at the Green Investment Bank, said: “The Blackcraig wind farm has the capacity to provide 37,500 homes with renewable energy for 25 years.

“We congratulate Blue Energy on reaching financial close and are please to play our part in helping the project to happen.”

Christopher Dean, chief executive of Blue Energy, said: “In what has been an eventful year for UK renewables we are delighted to secure this funding from Temporis, GIB and KKR.

“Whilst the funding environment remains challenging this financing completes a very successful year for Blue Energy who now have just over 250MW of onshore wind projects in construction throughout the UK.”

GIB was launched in November 2012, with £3.8 billion of funding from the UK government.

News of the funding for Blackcraig came as power company Vattenfall said yesterday it had signed a £237m deal to partner-up with Swedish pension group AMF on the Ormonde offshore wind farm, a 30-turbine site off Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria.

Vattenfall will continue to operate the wind farm as majority shareholder.

Magnus Hall, the group’s president and chief executive, said: “The market has shown a considerable interest in Ormonde.”