NEWS

In one of the first large-scale Solar PV construction financing deals in Ireland, Highfield Solar has secured project financing to fund the construction and operation of two Solar PV projects totalling 282MWp of installed capacity.


Fixed Tilt Solar PV Array


Berlin/Germany, Dublin/Ireland, Bristol/UK, 19/07/2021. Highfield Solar Limited, a joint venture established in 2014 between German company ib vogt, Irish company Highfield Energy and UK company Aura Power, has successfully reached financial close on a €160 million project financing debt facility for two solar PV plants in Ireland. The lenders for the projects are Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A., Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) and Norddeutsche Landesbank (NORD/LB), providing one third of the senior debt each, consisting of a blend of KFW and commercial loans.


Both Solar PV projects were successful participants in the Government of Ireland’s first competitive Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS 1) auction run by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications in 2020. The RESS auctions have been designed to promote investment in renewable energy and deliver on Ireland’s 70% renewable electricity target by 2030. Highfield Solar is proud to be contributing to this important goal on the path to the decarbonisation of Ireland’s electricity system.

Participation in the RESS scheme will guarantee that communities, clubs and societies local to each of the Solar PV projects will benefit from funding of approximately €200,000 each year for the duration of the term of RESS support of 15 years.


“We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone and we are now looking forward to completing both of these Solar PV projects. This is the result of years of planning and investment. The three partners have enjoyed a very positive relationship and combined their resources, capabilities, experience and knowledge to create these first class projects. As a company based in Ireland, we are hugely proud of our role in attracting such significant investment into the country for a renewable electricity generation project. It is also very important to us that the establishment of the associated community benefit funds will make significant contributions to the respective localities over the next decade and beyond”, says Peter Kavanagh, Managing Director at Highfield Energy

“The collaboration with our joint venture partners Highfield Energy and Aura Power has been outstanding and closing on these projects shows the dedication of all involved parties to bring clean energy to Ireland. Concluding the financing process would not have been possible without the conviction of our financing partners in renewable energy projects and their competence in funding them”, says Anton Milner, Managing Director of ib vogt GmbH.


“It’s exciting to see these projects achieving this significant milestone after a lot of hard work from all involved. These two projects will deliver over 25% of the total RESS1 volume awarded to solar PV and will hopefully pave the way for many more solar PV transactions in the Irish market.” Says Simon Coulson, Director at Aura Power.


Project Details

With a total capacity of 141 MWp, the Rosspile solar PV plant will be located on a ca. 140-hectare site near the village of Foulksmills in the County Wexford, the highest yield area of the country.


The Gillinstown solar PV plant with the same capacity will be located on a 123-hectare site near the village of Duleek, County Meath.


Both projects will utilise high-capacity bi-facial modules on fixed-tilt support structures for optimised land use and efficiency. Work on the grid connection infrastructure has already commenced and Solar PV construction is expected to be completed in July 2022 for Rosspile and October 2022 for Gillinstown.


Full Press Release:


2021-07-19-Highfield Energy Solar PV Financing Press Release
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Highfield Energy are delighted that three of our Solar PV projects have been included in the list of provisional winners of the first Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) Auction published on 4 August 2020.


Highfield Energy Solar PV Team

The projects included on the provisional list are:

  • Rosspile Solar Farm, Co. Wexford - 95 MWac

  • Gillinstown Solar Farm, Co. Meath - 95 MWac

  • Templerainey East Solar Farm, Co. Wicklow - 4 MWac

Rosspile Solar Farm and Gillinstown Solar Farm are two of the largest Solar PV projects to be included in the provisional list of winners.  These projects will offset the output of approximately 60,000 t CO2 and 55,000 t CO2 respectively which will contribute towards Ireland's 2030 CO2 reduction targets. Achieving this level of success in Ireland's first competitive auction for renewable electricity is a major milestone for Highfield Energy and underlines the ability of our team to identify and deliver innovative renewable electricity projects.   This result comes after 6 years of hard work, investment and commitment to the Irish renewable electricity sector by Highfield Energy and our project partners.  We are particularly pleased for the landowners involved in the projects, they have remained patient throughout the development process and it is great that they will now be rewarded and witness the delivery of these projects. A significant feature of the RESS Auction is the focus on community participation.  Highfield Energy look forward to the establishment of the national community benefits register and the accompanying Good Practice Principles Handbook.  This will lead to the creation of community benefit funds that will allow these three projects to distribute a combined figure of approximately €375,000 per annum to their neighbouring communities during the term of the RESS support.


Minister Ryan announces the provisional results of the first Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) auction


RESS 1 Provisional Auction Results