Power Capital Renewable Energy, Ireland’s leading solar Independent Power Producer (IPP), announced the closing of an up to EUR 240 million construction equity facility with a consortium of lenders managed by Eiffel Investment Group including Belgian insurance company Ethias and the European Investment Bank.
The facility will support the IPP’s plans to bring 1.2GW of solar projects to operation by 2025. The facility has an initial tranche of EUR 100 million. Part of this initial tranche will be used to build assets benefitting from signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with Microsoft and another undisclosed technology company, with the remainder for assets having been awarded tariffs in the Irish RESS2 auction. A further EUR 100 million may be made available through an additional tranche to build more assets in Power Capital’s pipeline, while up to EUR 40 million may be made available for international expansion.
“This new European support for 1.2GW of solar power investment across Ireland is a vote of confidence for Irish renewables. It will enable solar electricity to replace fossil fuel usage to power Ireland on sunny days and contribute to our target of up to 5GW of solar energy by 2025,” Irish Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan said.
Power Capital was acquired by Omnes Capital in 2020, who have since repositioned the Irish solar developer to become an IPP and the company is looking now to expand internationally. It has secured its reputation as Ireland’s leading IPP through securing a portfolio PPA with Microsoft, and one of the highest amounts of MW’s in the RESS-2 auctions for any Irish company. As Power Capital looks to construct their portfolio and expand overseas, the backing of Eiffel Investment Group, Ethias, and the EIB shows the confidence that leading private and public lenders have in their strategy and capabilities.
“The European Investment Bank is pleased to back one of the largest ever investments in solar energy in Ireland. This new initiative will strengthen domestic renewable power generation and cut carbon emissions and shows how European partners are supporting the energy transition,” Christian Kettel Thomsen, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, said.
“We are very excited about this partnership with Power Capital as we are convinced by the operational excellence of Power Capital’s team and its promising and diversified portfolio of projects. Providing financing for these Irish renewable energy projects is of absolute necessity to reach our common energy transition objectives in Europe,” Pierre-Antoine Machelon, Head of Infrastructure at Eiffel Investment Group, and Roman Londner, Vice-President in the Infrastructure team, added.
“It is fantastic to attract a club of such significant investors into the Irish solar sector. We have already commenced construction and expect 230MW to be completed by late this year across counties Cork, Wexford, Louth, and Meath. Having the support from Eiffel Investment Group, EIB and Ethias will allow us to rapidly expand our construction roll out over the next years,” Justin Brown and Peter Duff, Co-CEOs and Founders of Power Capital Renewable Energy, mentioned.
“This partnership will allow Power Capital to accelerate its transformation into Ireland’s leading solar IPP at a time when the country is signalling an increasing need for renewable energy. We are thrilled to have Eiffel Investment Group, the EIB and Ethias on board,” Michael Pollan, Managing Partner at Omnes, noted.
“In line with our ESG engagement and after having recently joined the Science Based Targets Initiative, Ethias is pursuing with this new investment its support to the energy transition. It fits perfectly with our strategy to reposition our investment portfolio into less carbon intensive sectors, while obtaining geographic diversification next to our core direct investments in Belgium. We believe Power Capital management has demonstrated so far excellent implementation in its goal to become Ireland’s largest solar power provider, which has convinced us to join historical Tier-1 financial partners such as Omnes and Eiffel Investment Group,” Joris Laenen, Chief Investment & Life Officer at Ethias, concluded.
Akereos Capital acted as sole bookrunner, structurer and exclusive debt advisor to Power Capital and also acted as exclusive financial advisor to Power Capital on the PPA with Microsoft. Power Capital were advised by Arthur Cox and Philip Lee (legal) while Eiffel Investment Group were advised by Eversheds Sutherland.
Ethias is a Belgian insurance company that has developed a unique business model focused on direct, digital and public services. This strategy is well supported by the commitment of its 1,900 employees, the trust of its customers (1,200,000 private individuals and more than 40,000 customers in the public and private sectors), the support of its public shareholders, its 100 years of experience and its financial strength. Ethias is constantly innovating to create value and meet the needs of tomorrow through ecosystems in areas such as health, mobility, and housing, with sustainability and responsible approach at the heart of its mission.
Omnes is a leading private equity and infrastructure investor. With over EUR 5 billion in assets under management, it provides companies with the capital they need to fund their growth, in three key areas: venture capital, growth & buyout capital and infrastructure. Omnes is committed to ESG factors and has founded the Foundation Omnes to fund initiatives in favour of children and young people. It is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
About Power Capital Renewable Energy
Power Capital Renewable Energy is an Independent Power Producer (IPP) established in Ireland in 2011. The company has been developing a solar portfolio of over 1200MW in Ireland and has also been growing its international presence. In 2020 Omnes Capital made a strategic investment in the company and since then the company has been transitioning to becoming an IPP.
The Dublin based office has a growing team spread across engineering, finance, legal, environmental planning, and construction. The company is continuing to develop solar projects in Ireland and is also developing grid scale battery storage sites. Power Capital is currently constructing 230MW of solar farms across Wexford, Cork, Meath, and Louth under Corporate Power Purchase Agreements. Power Capital was also successful with over 300MW in RESS 2 which will also commence construction in H2 2023.
About Eiffel Investment Group
Eiffel Investment Group is an asset manager with ca. EUR 5 billion under management (data as of end of 2022, including undrawn commitments). Eiffel Investment Group’s clients are large institutional investors (insurers, mutual funds, pension funds, banks, large family offices, and public investors) as well as individuals, through intermediary distribution.
Eiffel Investment Group cultivates a strong industrial expertise, particularly in the field of energy transition, but also in health, agri-food and digital. It finances companies and their assets through four main strategies: private debt, energy transition infrastructure, private equity, and listed equities and credit.
Eiffel Investment Group’s mission is to invest for a sustainable world. Its investment strategies aim to generate not only a strong financial performance but also a positive impact on the environment and society.
The Eiffel Investment Group team has approximately 80 talented employees, mainly in Paris, with presence in Amsterdam, Warsaw, and New York. The Eiffel Transition Infrastructure fund is exclusively reserved for professional clients.