BNP clean energy fund buys Northern Ireland wind farm

The acquisition marks the seventh investment for the €437m BNP Paribas Clean Energy Partners fund. The fund also bought a wind farm in Ireland last year, and plans to acquire more projects in both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

BNP Paribas Clean Energy Partners has acquired a 25-megawatt wind farm in Northern Ireland from developer RES for an undisclosed sum.

BNP expects the Gruig wind farm, which is located in Antrim County, to create enough electricity to power 14,000 homes, according to a statement.

Joost Bergsma, chief executive of BNP Paribas Clean Energy Partners fund, said the project is fully operational and contracted under power-purchase agreements. He said the acquisition marks the seventh fund for the €437 million fund, which closed in December and their first in Northern Ireland.

Last year, the fund bought a 20-megawatt wind farm in Laois County, Ireland, from European developer ABO Wind.

The fund is looking to make more acquisitions in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, Bergsma said, because their natural windiness and government support for clean energy makes them an attractive market. Under the European Union Renewable Energy Directive, the UK and Ireland have established 2020 renewable energy targets of 15 and 16 percent respectively.

“Ireland has proven to be very strong in that respect,” Bergsma said.

The fund also plans to acquire more wind energy projects across Europe, particularly in Spain, Germany, and France, where it is focusing on multi-asset portfolios, according to the statement.

UK-based RES develops solar, wind, biomass projects, and has offices in Australia, South Africa, Australia, North America and Europe.