Renewable energy firm secures £51m debt facility

A renewable energy firm has secured a £51 million debt facility on the back of significant growth of its portfolio of projects.

Green Highland Renewables is poised for further expansion. Picture: Contributed

The financing deal for hydro projects developed by Green Highland Renewables was struck by infrastructure investment manager Ancala Partners which acquired the Perth business in April 2015.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The facility, which has been underwritten by Allied Irish Bank and ING, has been raised against a portfolio of ten hydro assets of which four are operational while the remainder are due to be commissioned over the next 12 months.

The debt facility for Green Highland’s asset-owning vehicle will be used to support construction of the schemes and to refinance capital invested in projects already in operation.

Since the acquisition by Ancala, Green Highland’s portfolio has quadrupled and the investment firm said the business had significantly outperformed its operational and financial targets. To date Ancala has invested over £50m of equity into Green Highlands and is looking at further expansion for the business.

Spence Clunie, managing partner of London-based Ancala, said raising the debt facility was “testament to the achievements of Green Highland and the successful implementation of our strategy since we acquired the business.”

“Prior to our acquisition, Green Highland focused purely on the development of assets for third parties. Our strategy has been to transform it into a leading asset owner, consolidator and operator in the UK hydro sector.”

The operating hydro projects covered by the new facility include a 0.8 megawatt (MW) scheme in Glen Lyon, a 2MW twin turbine project at Keltneyburn and a 1.75MW twin turbine scheme at Ceannacroc in Glen Moriston.

Green Highland was acquired by Ancala from owners which included Glasgow-based technology investor Scottish Equity Partners and the Scottish Investment Bank.

Meanwhile, in a further boost for the Scottish renewable energy sector, Edinburgh firms Artemis Intelligent Power and Quoceant have together secured £2.5m from Wave Energy Scotland to trial a prototype they have developed.

The funding will see a model built to simulate the behaviour of a wave energy converter responding to a range of different sea conditions.

Dr Niall Caldwell, managing director of Artemis, said: “We believe our system is a fundamental advance in capturing the mechanical power generated by renewable sources.”